The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Attendance angst

'I don't want to go to church'

Driving to worship, you hear it coming from the backseat. “I don’t want to go to church,” your child grumbles in the rearview mirror. “I hate it!”

bogus captionWelcome to the club, parent(s). Unfiltered complaints like this come up from time to time in most families’ faith lives. Remember when you were a kid? You might have squawked about it too.

Children’s complaints about church aren’t new, said Kathlyn M. Mickel, an adjunct professor with the education department at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Wash. She has visited congregations nationwide to study which types of children’s programs click and which ones clunk. If your kids are in a steady pattern of carping about church, it’s a cue for you to investigate, she said.

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February issue


Embracing diversity