Me, my daughter Tiana, and her daughter Ember.
By FAR, the best reason to go to church as often as you are able, is your kids. And by going to church I mean attending church on Sundays, and actually engaging while you're there.
I know there are other good reasons, but this one trumps-all in my books.
In my repeated experience, when parents begin to regularly and consistently make alternative choices for how they spend Sunday morning, it is almost always the beginning of the end for their children's faith.
And it's so sad.
No, I'm not talking about taking extended vacations over the summer, or missing the occasional Sunday because of a weekend hockey tournament.
It's the regular and consistent sacrificing of Sunday morning church that is killer to a kid's faith. Let me underscore - it's a killer to their faith. In 23 years of pastoring, I've seen it too many times to pass off as happenstance.
This is the sad story:
Great parents, connected to the church. Kids love church too, sensitive to spiritual things. As the family grows up, more and more activiites demand time, typical in our culture. Occasional missed Sundays turn into alot of missed Sundays. Mom and dad still show up (though less often). The kids attend even less often. When they do come, they are less engaged. Eventually they almost always stop coming. When they leave home, it's over. And you have another statistic.
Some research suggests that when dad's don't attend church regularly, only 1 in 50 of their children will make faith a part of their lives. Crazy.
Why is this?
I think for a child, their faith in Jesus is inseparably connected to their experience of church. They don't disconnect the "body of Christ" - from Christ, as adults are prone to do (I'd make a case that you can't separate them, they go together without exception).
Either way, when a parent forsakes the assembling together (Hebrews 10:25) that happens on Sundays in churches across the globe, a spiritual disconnect begins to happen in their children. Kids just can't weather this dichotomy.
Why go to church? Go for your kids, and maybe you'll realize that you need it too.