There are so many things in life that bring people together. Things like movies, music, vacation, sporting events, theme parks, etc. No matter the age, we come together and have commonalities.
One of my favorite things to do with my family growing up was to go to the movies. That might seem like a no-brainer, but my family had 6 people in it. There are four kids and an age gap of 13 years. Yet, the movies brought us together.
But the movie was not the best part of the experience for me and neither was the popcorn or candy. The best part was when we all got in the car together. The movie gave us all something we could talk about. We would laugh at the funny parts of the movie and retell the jokes. We would all talk about the parts we did not like or that we enjoyed. We would talk about the parts that confused us and work together to resolve the confusion.
The same was true for my friends. If we all saw the movie on different days and in different theaters, we could still talk about it. The movie gave us all something in common to talk about and we could all connect.
Why doesn’t the church do something similar?
You might be saying “it does – we are Christians coming together to learn about Jesus and worship Him.” And I agree, we do that at church. But why doesn't church give us something we can all talk about together from grandparents to two-year-olds?
We come to church together, but once everyone is inside and the kids are checked into class, we all learn something different. We learn about Jesus, but we all learn different principles or topics. The adults might be learning about generosity, the teens learn about purity, and the kids are simply learning a Bible story about Jonah and the whale.
When that family comes back together in the car and the famous question is asked, “what did you learn today?” The answers are all different. They range from “I don’t know” to “some guy lived in a whale.”
There’s no commonality. Why not? Because we have missed what church is all about. It is about discipleship and building each other up. We can not do that with excellence when we are all on different pages.
How do we experience church together?
We have to align the teachings that each age group learns on the weekend. At One Voice we are committed to helping churches align the Biblical principle or topic that each age group is learning at an age-appropriate level. We want to join with you and your church to change the conversation on the car ride home, around the diner table, and throughout the week.
Many churches have tried to tackle this problem by bringing everyone into the same room for the same teaching. Unfortunately, kids are bored listening to a teaching for adults and adults don't get much from kids teaching.
If adults are learning about generosity and tithing, teens and kids should be learning about generosity at their level. When the family gets in the car, they can talk about the things they learned. There is so much the church can learn from the movie theater experience. It's an opportunity for discussion, growth, and unity. If the Church can do this, then we are truly partnering with parents and bringing families together.