As school starts back up, kids are also heading back to Wednesday night Bible study. Some of you think of the children at the church on Wednesday nights and cringe, some of you, smile, and others are just glad you won’t be there. For a few people, Wednesday night is a responsibility added to their plates, and for some, it’s a few hours of quiet in your home while the kids are in a safe place. Wherever you stand, Wednesday night bible study is happening, (Sorry…) and there WILL be some rowdy children in the church. While we shouldn’t commend children for breaking things, running in the sanctuary, or tearing things up, I want to give you some reasons you should embrace Wednesday night church:
They’re here. First and foremost they’re at the church. A large part of the kids attending Wednesday Bible study do not go to church on a regular basis. For whatever reason (that we’re not going judge) their parents/guardians are able to get them to church on Wednesdays but not Sundays. They’ve just come from school where they’re asked to sit still, quiet, and reminded that it’s not social hour, so of course, they’re going to have some extra energy. Let’s give them a place to let it out and teach them about God’s love. They might be loud, and require an equal amount of play to their learning, but they’re here, they’re listening (hopefully) and most of all they’re coming back each week.
Christian Fellowship. Have you ever heard elementary aged children discuss God? It’s humbling, sweet, and hard to keep up with. They’ll go from talking about their love for Christ to sharing something gross they did at school. Their attention spans are short, but their memories are immense. While we hear unnecessary chatter, they enjoy the time spent with their friends at church. Lessons are valuable and irreplaceable, but their want to be there is equally so if we want them to continue to attend church once they’re adults.
The dropout rate. LifeWay research shows that 70% of young adults that attend church “dropout” after graduation. While the research also shows the majority of them eventually come back to the church as they get older, they’re gone when they need church the most. A large part of our bad decisions happen between high school and college. If they’re not leaving with Christ in their hearts, a lot could happen before- or if, they decide to return to the church. Even though we’re forgiven, without church that’s easy to forget, and it’s even easier to fall into sinful living. While Bible study is just that, for Bible study, we also need to consider what our overall goal is when we bring together our group of students on Wednesday nights.
The future. As we get into the new school year and start up Wednesday night Bible studies, I ask that you all keep in mind what you would like to see 5-10 years from now as these children graduate from school. For me, I’d like to see their faces at VBS, at youth studies, and on Sundays in the summer while they’re home. I’d like to see them volunteering to lead a small study if they’re staying at home, or devoting their lives to serving Christ. I’d like to see them remain in contact with our Pastor, Deacons, and church members.
While I agree, Wednesday nights can be chaotic, loud, and not everyone’s cup of tea, I stand firmly in my belief that it should also be a fun and inviting learning environment for the kids. They’ve spent their day walking in lines, doing school work, and home work. Let’s give them a place to learn about God and His love while not just focusing on a lesson for two hours, but by showing them His love, and letting them experience what church fellowship feels like by building relationships that last.