“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” Charles R. Swindoll, Evangelical Christian pastor
The church I go to is having a dilemma…from what I understand, they’re trying to figure out how to have a children’s church service/teaching during the main church service; apparently because there are some who don’t feel that the children are capable of maintaining for the length of the service. I truly feel like the odd woman out on this subject because I believe that it’s so very important for the children (at a fairly early age – 5 or so years old), to learn to worship our Heavenly Father with their physical family and their church family. It’s important that the children learn from an early age to appreciate the reverence and the splendor of worship. During church service, they will see not only their parents, but people of all ages who are gathered together for the “Glory of God”!
Sunday School is for teaching the stories, singing the fun songs with all of the hand motions, coloring of pictures that bring Bible stories to life and it’s the time to commune with friends that they may only see at church (which in itself sets these friends apart from the secular school friends). However, when Sunday School is over and church begins, this is an entirely different setting. Church time is when children along with their family show their love and appreciation for Heavenly Father…this is a bonding time with their family as well as the family of God. I sincerely believe that separating them from their family at this time isn’t good for them or for the church body as a whole.
I’d like to say that the worship of God, our Heavenly Father, should just come naturally, but most need to learn how to worship and the earlier the child begins the learning process the better they become at showing Heavenly Father and the world how much Love they have inside for God and and their brothers and sisters in Christ.
“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.” anonymous quote.
Sure! You’ll hear them say from time to time that they’re bored, but think of what they’re actually taking in…familiarity with the songs and the procedure of the service. Even if the sermon seems to be deeper than their understanding, hearing the word is vital and seeing the congregation in worship will make a lasting memory…so much so that when they grow up, even if they fall away for awhile, they will never forget. Even when the service goes a little long and they get restless, they’re still learning.
Think of this…from the time a child is 5 years old until they graduate from High School (usually 18 or so), if they spend just that one hour a week with their family in sincere worship that adds up to 52 weeks X 13 years = 676 hours spent with Mom and Dad bowing their heads in prayer, singing hymns and worship songs with zeal, solemnly taking part in the call to worship…modeling after their parents and learning the awesome value they place on Heavenly Father. I can’t think of an example that can bring more Glory to God than anything else. This may be the only time during the entire week that the family spends together in worship as not all families take or make the time. Being in church together paints an indelible picture on the mind of a child of what a family should look like.
When we’re in church together as the children of God, we’re in the presence of Heavenly Father, Jesus -Yeshua and the Holy Spirit, we shouldn’t take this gift of devotion and closeness away from our children. I understand that thinking of a structured children’s church which will possibly teach more Scripture, but sometimes the best lessons are learned from experiencing something wonderful like being a part of the human and spiritual worship of God. On a personal note, seeing the families sitting together in the pews, generates a tremendous fullness of spirit that’s inexpressible.
Jesus makes it very clear in Matthew 19:13-15 “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”