I often hear parents say to me, ‘I don’t want to force them to go to church/youth group because *insert reason here*’….but it’s usually something like ‘I don’t want to put them off’. And I hear other parents who don’t give their youth/kids the option but make it a family priority to go to church. Neither option guarantees conversion but I believe the latter is what the Bible calls us to do. When Joshua assembled the Israelite elders and leaders, he challenged them with these words….
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
It’s not about forcing kids, but showing them that as a family you value going to church together/reading the Bible together etc. as a priority. Just as a family you might value sports or camping or whatever it is, it is important to you as a family. Even young kids will understand these values and going to church on a Sunday will become as inherent as eating breakfast every morning. Of course there will be struggles, but keep going, keep putting down those roots and values at a young age so that they stick with kids as they grow into adulthood. See the blog below which explains it a lot better than I could!