Children are most welcome in our services. If you are newer to our community, it could be a little surprising or startling if you aren’t used to it. We don’t have children’s church or Sunday school during our worship services on purpose. Jesus said, let the little children come to Me. Throughout the Bible, children are recognized as full members of the congregation of God’s people. When Israel wanted to leave Egypt, Pharaoh offered to let just the men go to worship at the mountain, but Moses insisted that all of Israel had to go, including the little ones.
At the same time, we recognize that this presents some challenges. So three encouragements on this front:
First, while the children are most welcome, and the occasional squawk or cry is full expected, please do be mindful of the congregation around you. Feel free to stand in the back, or take a walk in the fellowship hall, listen to the service in one of the cry rooms, or use the discipline room, as needed.
Second, like most good things, practice and forethought go a long way toward getting better at good work. So practice for church with your children throughout the week. Short times of family worship can be great opportunities to practice sitting still, remaining quiet, saying Amen, saying the creed, singing the Lord’s prayer, raising hands, and kneeling. If a bunch of what we do here on Sunday is the only time they ever do it, you might sympathize with their confusion and frustration – you’ve never taught them how to do this. And remember that meeting with Jesus is our joy, so practice and teach with lots of joy (and maybe some treats along the way).
Third, parents, do not grow weary in doing good. Do not grow weary in wrangling little people. Do not be embarrassed to faithfully shepherd your little ones during the service. We are all cheering you on and don’t be afraid to ask other members of the congregation for a helping hand as needed, and please be assured that God is pleased with your sacrifice of praise. Maybe you sang two and half verses, heard a third of the sermon and took the bread and johnny spilled half your wine, but be fully assured: the blessing of God rests on parents who joyfully strive to bring their children to Jesus.
Photo by Alexander Dummer on Unsplash
Leave a Reply