If you look at any group of Christians you will find that some have grown up listening to Bible stories and being taken to church. Some were not read Bible stories and didn’t go to church. But now they both alike reached maturity and after hearing the good news of salvation they obeyed the Gospel. But a question presents itself and seems to linger quite a bit: Which is better? To grow up in the church? Or to grow up outside of the church? While there is a real point to be made about the different backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge that we all bring with us, I think there is a clear answer to this prevailing question.
There are advantages and dangers that need to be said of both sides. But the conclusion is that it is far better to grow up “in” or around the church. Sadly, I have heard several times from Christians who grew up in the church say that it is unfortunate and a disadvantage to grow up in the church. Really? What’s interesting is I have heard several Christians who did not grow up in the church say that it is a blessing for someone to grow up in the church, they envy those who have, and they’d give anything to have grown up in the church. It is disheartening to hear my brethren say that it is a disservice to grow up in the church. With that said, take a look at the advantages and dangers to both sides.
Growing up in the church is a clear advantage. It is far better to grow up in the church because you grow up knowing God. From childhood your parents aquaint you with God. You grow up knowing right from wrong. A faith is being built within you. All of this is to prepare you to give your life to God when the time comes. You know the Bible. You know why things are done and how to do them. Would one rather be prepared or unprepared? Now, dangers that present themselves are a lack of zeal and concern, no heart, just going through the motions or playing church. It can be that we’ve grown up with it our whole lives and we just get used to it. We therefore end up with no passion or desire for God and His church. Or maybe even some want to be rebellious because they want to go against everything they learned growing up about right and wrong. While dangers may come up, it is a lot better to have the resources to show you the way to eternal life with God.
Not growing up in the church brings with it its own special set of knowledge. One thing that can happen and usually does happen when one obeys the Gospel is a great zeal and thankfulness to God. They have let so much sin into their life and they have never known God. When they finally are shown God and Jesus they give all of themselves to the Lord. They can even help Christians who grew up in the church be more aware of the sin that is in the world. They have a great appreciation for everything about God, His grace, and His church. A big “However” is…someone who does not grow up in the church and around God may never get the chance to know God or even set foot in a building where the church gets together. They will continue in sin and never think twice. They may just laugh at any thought of repentance and God’s grace. They were never taught right and wrong. They will end up without God for eternity.
As said before, everybody brings with them special backgrounds and experiences that will help them and others in the church. But let’s please never say that it is unfortunate to grow up in the church. At the end of the day the only thing that matters is this: no matter where we come from, we’re presented with the Gospel of Salvation and we must respond to it. When we obey the Gospel we will all be learning and growing till the day we die or Jesus comes again. No matter who you are or where you come from, choose today to start growing and building up your faith and love for God.