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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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I Want to Go to Church

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I really like to go to church. But my parents often skip church or leave right after the service, and I donít get to socialize. Iím 14 years old, so I depend on them for transportation. They even ground me from church sometimes. Iíve tried to talk to them about this, but they yell at me or ignore me. Iíve prayed, too. What else can I do?


Steve Answers:

It seems as though I keep coming across young people who are more responsible than their parents, and whose parents selfishly put themselves ahead of their children. Yet I meet teens who consistently make good choices, even though their home lives are terrible and they’re regularly exposed to all kinds of bad things. It’s truly a miracle. I’m not saying this is true of all families. I’m just shocked at how frequently it happens.

The fact that your parents ground you from church indicates their awareness that church is important to you. It’s just shocking that parents of teens wouldn’t encourage their teens to participate in church, as well as be an example themselves to their teens.

Do you have any idea why church was once important to your parents and why it isn’t now? Were they hurt by somebody? Did something happen? Have the things of this world drawn them away from God? Are they, like so many other people, too busy, so they crash on Sabbath to recuperate?

A key text you could show your parents is Hebrews 10:25. The New Century Version reads like this: "You should not stay away from the church meetings, as some are doing, but you should meet together and encourage each other. Do this even more as you see the day [of the Lord] coming."* The King James Version uses the phrase "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together" to mean "don’t stop going to church."

You have several options. First of all, you could help your cause a whole bunch if you’d quit being disobedient to your parents, since you said they keep you away from church as a punishment. Obey your parents, and improve your communication (your talking to them and listening to them).

Second, when your parents sleep in on Sabbath, you can still worship. You may just need to create your own version of church right in your house. After they wake up, perhaps you can get your family involved in the worship service you plan at home. Since they’re already there, they don’t have to dress up, and it can happen at any time on Sabbath, not just the "regular" church time. You mentioned that you enjoy an interactive church service. Make your home church one with lots of involvement!

Third, invite people from church to come to your house for worship either on Sabbath afternoon or Friday evening. Obviously, you need to be on good enough terms with your parents to do something like this. You can plan the worship service or get a group to work together on it. It doesn’t have to be huge.

Another option would be to work out transportation with someone else from your church–with your parents’ permission. Remember, you’re working together on this. Maybe someone from your church lives near you or drives close by your house on their way to church. You may even be able to take public transportation to get there. Brainstorm some transportation possibilities with others at your church.

Your church service is a great experience that I’d love for you to enjoy each week. But even if you don’t get to church as often as you’d like, you still have options. And God can show you some other ones, too. 

*From The Holy Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission.



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