Sunday, February 01, 2009


It’s been a few years or so since I’ve reported on my absence from the sunday morning social club. I believe that my avoidance of this topic proves my confidence in my calling outside of that scene. Thus I don’t feel a need to prove something to others thus proving something to myself.

Despite popular belief, I, agent b, am not opposed to other’s membership of these clubs. Nor am I opposed to the possibility of being part of one myself again someday.

What I am opposed to is attendance. Or better yet – I am opposed to attendance becoming the calling as opposed to living the calling.

Or something like that.

So Agent Wife and I have children. Three, as of almost three weeks ago. And yes, we incorporate our agent calling “outside church walls” into our children’s life. Since our marriage ten years ago (pre-kid days) we discussed how to raise our kids to know the CEO and not just drag them to some sunday morning deal. We wanted to live the experience of this kingdom of god, not just talk about it and naval gaze while someone else taught our kids about god.

So anyway, last weekend both grandmothers were here: my mom and Agent Wife’s mom. Sunday morning they were getting ready to “go to church” together while I was going to visit Obi-Wan and Agent Wife was tending to our newborn.

So then, my oldest mentioned that he wanted to go with his grandmothers. So I suggest to the grandmothers that if they want to take them, I’ll get the older kids dressed and ready to go. They were downright giddy about this, as can be expected by grandmothers.

So later on that day one of the grandmothers mentions to us that if we wanted, we could send our kids to church via our neighbors The Mackeys (who go to the church they visited).

How are we supposed to take that? Are we some sort of deadbeat parental sloths by not taking our kids to church?

No one noticed that our kids knew the songs they sang at church...because Agent Wife taught these songs to them at home!

OK. Sorry. I’m getting a little defensive. Such is being an agent and dealing with family.

But my question: what is better – teaching your children about attendance? Or trying to live the faith?

Or something like that.


Kimberly said...

a few months before I left my former congregation, there was a big emphasis being placed on the Sunday morning gathering being our "responsibility" and even our "priority". The kicker for me was when they stated: "Of course, mere attendance on Sunday mornings does not guarantee a vibrant walk with God; but it does tend to validate it."

I was trying to explain why I was more concerned about building relationships in the community than about whether or not we got the new building we wanted, and hearing back that showing up on Sunday mornings validates my faith, and the rest is just window dressing.


Lead your family, and gather with other believers, and let them see all of you living out your faith, your love, your fruit in real life contexts. Discipleship is going to be much more lasting than program attendance. If they express the desire to attend congregational services with friends or neighbors, I wouldn't necessarily restrict that - but just keep their awareness that the Body of Christ is more dynamic than what happens within those walls at a set hour on Sunday morning. (Not that I have to tell you that...)

Agent B said...

"...mere attendance on Sunday mornings does not guarantee a vibrant walk with God; but it does tend to validate it."

Nice. Proof that those who run churches are scared shitless. Because now they are making up total bogusness to manipulate you to hang around.

Usually, they just quote Hebrews 10:25 out of context...

Jennifer said...

Maybe the kids would just like to hang out with the other kids there too. Maybe they think it's fun. Kids don't put all the political stuff on Church that most adults do. Church doesn't equal bad all the time. Just like everything else in life, it's what you make of it. And with everything else in life, church shouldn't be done to "win" points with God so I'm with you about the whole attendance thing.

This is just my opinion though.

Agent B said...

Oh, we pretty much expect that our kids will join a youth group someday. And we would stop them...probably encourage them to join.

And I don't mind taking my kids to a church if they want to be a part of class.

Since you mention it (kids don't pull the political stuff, etc)...maybe the adults should pay attention since we're supposed to be like little children...?

Kimberly said...

I see your Hebrews 10:25 and raise you a real life example. (for the record, I was the "young woman" and, unlike the writer, I had actually read They Like Jesus).

On another note, as long as it is the kids who want to attend and not someone else who is making them feel like they should attend, imagine what kind of influence they could have on the other children?

Agent B said...


Above comment of mine should read, "And we would NOT stop them...

Big difference...

Agent B said...

Kimberly -

I believe, by and large, that the average pastor/church leader has an ego. A large, fragile one. Their church is their identity. Their church is who they are. If it is big and youthful and popular then the pastor feels good about himself because a large church means he is liked, etc.

Therefore, when threatened by non-membership etc the pastor will often use any manipulative means necessary. And unfortunately for them, there IS NO biblical proof of attendance to a routine meeting. Or better...attendance to an organized social club.

"Spiritual Abuse" sounds like some new pop psychology victimology term for those beat up in church. But it is a very real topic, ranging from mild to extreme (cults). This book was highly recommended to me after our booting from the church.