Two Faces of Church

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by Sherry Chamblee

Sometimes we live one way at church a different way at home. This topic comes up pretty regularly actually… that we need to live just as righteously during the week as we act like we do on Sundays in front of our friends at church. When our kids see us pretending to live right on Sundays and then living like the devil all week, it’s very disillusioning. How can we teach them that God is a real part of our lives if we don’t act like He’s present all week long? 

Maybe that’s why there can be such resentment from kids over church.

But I was thinking about this, and sometimes I think it’s more subtle then that.

Because oftentimes even the people who are honestly faithful to God all week long can get into a sort of ministry mode when we’re at church. We’re normal, approachable, relaxed at home, but in the church on Sunday morning we pull in that image of who we think we need to look like at church, and become a “professional Christian” while we’re in the building.  To our kids we’ve suddenly become a different person – colder, more distant, someone they don’t know.

I think this would be most prevalent among those who serve in the church a lot, but I’d think it would happen with anyone who comes regularly, too.

Let me offer an example. 

One of the things I appreciate about my pastor at my church is that he’s as open to his kids approaching him while he’s at church as he must be while they’re at home. If he’s preaching, and the kids are in the service for some reason, they could walk up to the platform and ask Dad to hold them, and he’d do it. I’ve seen him preach while holding one of his little girls before, and he did it without apology. 

Many men I know would be upset and embarrassed at their child doing that in the service. But my pastor’s girls are as comfortable with their dad at church as they are anywhere else.

Imagine the opposite though – the resentment the kids would have when they know the ministry turns their mom or dad into someone who will barely acknowledge them, someone who’s different at church then they are at home, even if that difference doesn’t include a fall into some great sin.

Turning our families away from the ministry can be as simple as putting on a mask at church. It doens’t have to involve anything we’d consider a great sin during the week.

So maybe that formality we adopt in the services isn’t necessarily a good thing. Maybe letting the children come and act like children is okay. Maybe being relaxed at church is as good as being relaxed and friendly at home.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com Or check out her books at http://www.amazon.com/Sherry-Chamblee/e/B00BA06RJ2/

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