CQ: Balancing Kids' Schedules and Church

Sep 6, 2017Amy Lanham

How do I balance the commitments of children's activities (sports) while putting God first? How do you make the choice to skip weekend tournaments to attend service every Sunday when your child's absence is viewed as a non-commitment to the team? How do handle the commitment to team and the commitment to God?

One of the wonderful aspects of Jesus coming to earth, is that in doing so, and in sacrificing his life, he abolished many of the rules and regulations that people had been held under for centuries. Our relationship with God became more about receiving God’s grace than trying to perform well. Our church attendance alone does not define our devotion to Him.

However. scripture reminds us of the importance of coming together as a church body. You have likely heard this passage before: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:23-25. Christians cannot operate as silos. We need each other!

We are blessed to live in a time where church services and wonderful sermons are easily accessible on any day of the week. Missing a few Sundays for a short season shouldn’t be a problem so long as you find another time slot during the week to be sure you are building your relationship with God in some way. And, not because you “have to,” but because we should want to. You can become part of a life group that meets on another evening, or attend a Bible study on Wednesday night. Gather with another family in your same situation and watch a service online together. If my family can’t make church for some reason, we often get on RightNow Media and watch a kid appropriate video together and discuss it. Anyone who attends Sherwood Oaks can get access. There are many ways to gather together outside of Sunday so your child can fulfill his/her obligation to a team for a short season and everyone’s spiritual needs can be met, too.

Team sports can be demanding. Make sure you are striking a healthy balance. The sacrifice of time may just not be worth it. However, if your child shows special skill, it’s natural to want to give them opportunities to develop their gifts. Be sure your child truly enjoys the sport and finds the rigor of it worthwhile.

There are many reasons people have to miss church for a time. What is important is continuing to develop your relationship with God in some way, shape, or form (preferably with others) during the time you are away. Your kids need to know that this is still a priority, even if you can’t make Sunday mornings for awhile.