“But Jesus called for them, saying, ‘Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.'” (Luke 18:16)
For the past year or so, we have included children in the first part of our worship services as they sing and pray with us. This is wonderful because not only do they learn that church is not for adults only, but as they observe how their parents worship, they have a new sense of connecting this faith to their parents.
Most often, I’ve been to churches where the presence of children in worship services is considered a distraction. Most often you will find contradictory teachings in those churches. They would teach from the pulpit that you should have a “family altar,” yet they segregate and separate the families on Sunday morning. Their “children programs” are sometimes little more than glorified babysitting. “Reformed Worship” magazine listed four erroneous thinking that lead churches to segregate children from Sunday worship:
- Children should be seen, not heard (or even, Children should be neither seen nor heard).
- Children are a burden (or an embarrassment).
- Children are OK as long as I don have to deal with them.
- Children would be okay if they just grew up and acted like adults
To me, worshipping with children in church should be a weekly thing, not something reserved for special Sundays.
Last night, my pastor’s wife gave me a challenge to turn it up a notch with involving children in worship during our upcoming church retreat in October. I’m starting to research and think about more ideas about children in worship. Anyone has any ideas, please let me know!