November 24, 2009

Repost: Should I Force My Teenager To Go To Church

Filed under: Parents,Youth Ministry — Neil @ 10:00 am

I posted this blog entry back on February 25, 2009 & it continues to get traffic day after day.  So, I’m reposting it (check out the original post to view the comments it generated.) Here’s the original post:

I’m faced w/ that question on a regular basis or something similar like “Is it ok to ground my teen from church?”.

D.C. Curry, youth pastor at Granger, answered the question on his pastor’s blog.  Here’s what he said:

My blunt answer is yes!

The Bible teaches us that one of the responsibilities of a parent is to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

One thing I love about this passage is that it projects that there is a way in which a child should go…because there is.  There are so many important things that parents will make their children do without even thinking about it like take baths, go to bed, brush their teeth, go to school, but when it comes to church they resort to the great debate.  “Should I or should I not?”

It seems to me that the same reason that governs why they have to brush their teeth, go to school, get some sleep, take baths, should be the same reason that governs why they should go to church, it’s important!  So we make/force our kids to do everything that we think is important so if we don’t make/force them to go to church does that mean we don’t think it’s important?

As a parent, it may not always be popular to make them go to church but it has eternal implications.  It’s not just about their attendance, it’s about their eternity.  We who are charged with the care of students (parents, youth pastors, teachers, godparents, etc.) must see to it that they find The Way and are trained to live in that Way.
Also know that training is not always easy, comfortable, or fun, and usually doesn’t come without a bit of pain.

A very respected parent recently told me, “I don’t care what they want to do, I (as the parent) am committed to getting my kids in environments where they can grow closer to Christ.”   He believes it’s important, so he follows that up with his actions.

Do you agree?



  1. As a teenager myself, we should not be forced to go to church. Forcing people to do something only makes them resent it even more. I remember in my old church, which I hated (you would too if you went there trust me)there was this kid, who was forced to go every weekend. This kid became so put off from christianity that he started listening to satanic music and dressing in all black (he even painted his nails black). I expierienced the same thing. I was forced to make my confirmation there and I was forced to go every weekend. My parents are NOT very religious, my dad never goes to church but my mom goes sometimes. They could have gotten me out of it. Now I dress in all black except I dont paint my nails and I listen to Satanic music as well. I want to share a bible verse from the time that I actually believed in God that relates to this topic. its from Matthew 19:14 and Luke 18:16. jesus said “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Notice how Jesus says “let the children come” not “Force them to come” He also says “do not hinder them” however you are hindering them when forcing them to go to churhc by hindering their faith. You’re hindering their faith because some teens and children want to learn faith slowly at their own pace, not have it shoved down their throats like it is at church. If they want nothing to do with christianity then leave them alone about it or they will only resent you more.

    Comment by Michael C. — March 28, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

  2. If I dragged your ass to a Mosque–would you become a Muslim? You cannot force belief. All you are doing is crushing their religious freedom. Your attempts at forced indoctrination only stirs up resentment achieving the opposite of what you want. But then I don’t expect people who believe in primitive, bronze age bullshit to have much insight into human psychology.

    Comment by Joe Bigliogo — March 27, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

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