Nap schedules, feedings, teething, separation anxiety, sickness, sports—when your kids are young, it seems like everything is working against your ability to attend church. Many Sundays, it seems much easier to just stay home.

Is going to church worth it? Absolutely. Even if you have to spend most of the service in the “cry room” with your baby, here’s why you should make regular church participation a part of your family culture from the get-go.

Your kids will see you prioritize church.

Church participation is not an area where you want to use your “do as I say, not as I do” card. Growing up, I knew we were going to church every Sunday. My parents were leaders in the church, and it was never a question, it was just a part of our family rhythm.

This made it a no-brainer for me once I moved away from home. As parents, you have the opportunity to set that precedent now for your future young adults.

Your kids will develop spiritually.

It’s amazing to hear the truth and Bible stories little ones are able to retain! It is never, ever too early for them to hear that Jesus loves them. They’re never too young to be told that God made them and that He is good. Being present on Sunday mornings provides an opportunity for them to hear this affirmed from someone besides their parents.

You will develop spiritually.

Even if you and your spouse have to take turns hanging in the lobby with your toddler who refuses to stay in the nursery, you will learn something! Corporate worship times are powerful, too. That experience simply doesn’t happen when you choose to watch the gathering online from home.

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You will be a part a local expression of the church.

The connections I have at church are such a lifeline for me. A healthy church is filled with people a few steps ahead of you who can be mentors, people in your stage of life who can be friends, and people a few years behind you who you can help develop. These relationships will be some of the most enriching you’ll ever have. You need the church, and the church needs you.

You will have the opportunity to serve.

God wired you with gifts, interests, and abilities, and they aren’t for your enjoyment only! An elder in the church I grew up in once said that too many of us show up to church with our bibs on, ready to consume, when we should be showing up with an apron, ready to serve.

Ephesians 4:12 tells us that Christ gave Himself to “equip the saints [that’s us!] for works of ministry, for building up the body of Christ …” Here’s the incredible bonus about serving: once you’re in a well-functioning volunteer role that’s a good fit, you will be just as fulfilled as those receiving your gifts! God designed it that way.

The writer of Hebrews says it best: “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (10:24-25). It is an honor and privilege to be a part of a church—one that believers in many parts of the world are literally dying for.

Take whatever steps you need to in order to make Sundays more manageable for you. Lay out clothes the night before. Prepare the simplest breakfast you can think of. Give yourself loads of extra time to compensate for the inevitable diaper blowout or other unforeseen event.

Showing up will be worth it.

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