Saturday, April 14, 2012

Introvert Saturday: My Kids Think Church Isn't For Them (And They're Right)

About the author: Anne Bogel is an INFP and total Christian education nerd, and she muses about the intersection of faith, the church, and women on her blog Anne-with-an-e. You can find her on twitter at @ModernMrsDarcy.  Anne has also written the most popular guest post in Introverted Church history: A Christmas Snapshot. Also check out her review of Introverts in the Church.

I’ve been afraid to say this out loud, but here goes:

My kids hate church.

They say it’s not for them. And they’re right, it’s not.

You see, two of my four children are introverts. Crowds drain them. They process internally. They hate noise.

But we attend an evangelical megachurch, and the controlling equation of children’s ministry, from age 4 on up, is Big + Loud = Fun. But my kids aren’t keen on big, and they don’t do loud. Children’s church isn’t fun for them; it’s terrifying.

So they think church is not for them. And they’re right: this children’s ministry is heaven for extroverts, but it was not designed for kids like mine.

I am terrified they will think Jesus is not for them either.

But this isn’t just about my kids. Church isn’t for me, either, these days, because if they can’t go to church, then I can’t go to church.

My church values honesty, authenticity, transparency. The sermons are practical, addressing issues the congregation is dealing with.

Which means my kids can’t tag along to Big Church, unless I want to answer questions like, “Mom, what does ‘pornography’ mean?” after Sunday service.

This is THE issue of faith in our house right now.

I’ve been attending church when my kids can go play at their grandparents’ during service. They’re happy, and I’m happy to get to worship with other believers.

We teach them about God at home, but they don’t go to corporate worship right now. I hate that.

But I can’t fault them for objecting. They’re not wrong: church isn’t for them.