The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Now what? Requiring church attendance for overnight guests

Q: On most Saturday nights, my teen daughter has friends at our house for sleepovers. It's fine with me on one condition: we all go to church on Sunday mornings-guests included. My daughter says it's not right to "force religion" on her friends. Am I being fair?

SleepoverA: So long as your daughter gives her friends and their parents a heads-up about your rule, there's nothing unfair about it. In fact, your daughter's friends might even be curious about what your family's faith is all about.

When teen guests crash at your place, it becomes a signal that they're receptive to learning more.

Encourage your daughter to see these occasions as opportunities to add new dimensions to her friendships.

Take time to give your guests a tour of the church and make introductions along the way.

Be open to questions about your family's faith and respond with authentic answers — even if a simple "I'm not sure" is the best you can do.


Brian Days

Brian Days

Posted at 1:58 pm (U.S. Eastern) 4/1/2009

I have the same rules in my house.  Most of my daughters friends go to our church or a church in town, so it is not a big deal.  I don't like to miss church, it is a place I can gather together with brothers and sisters in Jesus.  We can all confess our sins and be forgiven.  We share in the Lords Supper.  We can shares or joys and pain with each other and more importantly with God.  My daughter is a witness to this and I can only hope and pray that it will be important to her as she enters into her adult life.  Introducing her to what Jesus means in her life and showing her a place to go that will support her is more valuable than any amount money or material things I can give her.

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