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  • Writer's pictureStacy Barrett

Church Isn't A Building

“Can we just “watch” church today?”

Meaning on TV. Watch a livestream church from the comfort of the couch. Not go there. Does anyone else hear this from their kids just about every Sunday since 2020?

Just us?

As I sat in church this morning, with my arms around my 11 year old daughter, I was instantly transported to years ago. Sundays with 4 little people. Sitting between tiny bodies to keep them from touching and sparking ire & outbursts of siblings in quiet moments. Tiny feet on chairs with arms around tiny waists during worship so they could see over big people heads. Was it ok for my kids to stand on the chairs, I’d wonder? I think so. I’d do it a million times over if I could.

It all counts. Church isn’t a building. But, when you go to the building with a predictable cadence, you’re building a history. You are walking out values of worship. Our kids catch who we are. They emulate what we do. It’s not about what we say.

Parents. I urge you. Don’t miss this rhythm. I’m not saying it’s easy. It would always be easiest to skip. Stay in comfortable clothes. Not hustle arms and legs and grumpy attitudes out of front doors. Especially in those early years of runny noses and diapers and chaos. It would have been so much easier to stay home. But, we don’t drift towards holiness. Building a culture and a sticky faith takes intention. Not just with our hearts and well meanings, but with our physical presence. Even when you don’t feel like it. Especially then.

I don’t regret any of those Sundays. Even the chaotic crazy ones where I felt like apologizing & handing out party favors to everyone within 3 feet of what I’d affectionately refer to as our “campsite.” The pew full of Barretts and paraphernalia required to keep tiny attention spans in check during worshipful moments, long elder prayers, and sermons. Arms around shoulders for 1.5 hours a week. I’m still so thankful for Sundays. Thankful to be in a row with my ducks within arms reach. From 11 to 17, plus the occasional friend. A Senior headed to college soon with the history of family worship and a faith of his own, who now chooses to go on a Sunday even when we can’t. Thankful to tears.

How will they learn of we don’t lead them? How can we lead them unless we show them? Not just in words, but in physical presence.


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