Whether called Kid’s Own Worship, Kid’s Church, or just simply children’s church, a great many churches have a separate worship option for children apart from their families. Having this time of worship separate from the children offers mom and dad a chance to worship, grow, and focus on the message without distraction. And though we currently have a Kid’s Own Worship at First Baptist, I see the need for our church family to have a more integrated approach to have worship together.
There are some very, very good reasons to for a family to worship together. For example, though there are some benefits in having children’s church, it’s also vitally important for children to see, hear, and experience worship with their family. And, with the right planning and attitude towards worship, mom and dad can manage their children and benefit from a dedicated time of worship with them. Of course, it’s not easy, but it can indeed be done, and I believe that it will provide fruit in the long run.
That said, here are some reasons families should worship together regularly:
- The children will see their parents worship. Worship is caught more than taught. We cannot delegate this responsibility. In fact, when a parent takes worship seriously, the children will follow. When they don’t, well…
- The children will hear their pastor’s message. Most pastors study, prepare, and pray over the message for many hours prior to the Sunday service. A life long diet of God’s Word is encouraged from the pulpit as the Word is taught and applied to their lives as well as to others.
- The children will see the response to the Word. For those churches that offer a time of response to the Word (or invitation), I see this as a treasured, precious moment for people to pray, seek, and connect with Christ after the Word has been preached. What better time, then, for the children to see faith and life intersecting as people share their victories, struggles, tears, and joys with their church family?
- The children will gain insights and have questions. Children have the opportunity to ask questions and receive insights on a pastor’s message or other aspects of the worship service. A family experiencing this time together can easily have these conversations on the way home, at lunch after church, or even during family worship times. Almost a Deut 6:7 moment, right?
- The children will be stretched in their spiritual walk. We have been guilty in the past of setting the bar too low for our children, thinking that they can’t handle sitting still for a period of time or unable to handle conversations. In some cases, this is possible, yet it is up to the parents to help them to grow into this period of worship and learning. It’s not going to be easy, but in the long run, they can and will grow.
These are some of the reasons, and I think, very good ones. Our hope is always that we will see the fruit over the long run in our children, and this is but one of the ways to accomplish that.
Any additional reasons or thoughts on this topic?
Years ago we didn’t have children’s church so after the age of 4 our two children sat with us in “big church” and they did very well. They sat quietly (usually) and drew pictures on the bulletin, they heard the message and witnessed people singing. praising, going forward to accept Jesus and being baptized. That said, for a young child to be taught to sit through an hour long or more message the child must be brought to church on a regular basis, not just now and then. There are children who just can’t sit still but soon they will have to in a classroom, a grocery or bank line or on the job. If they can sit through a movie in a theater or hours on the couch playing video games then they can sit through church. Really, what is more important? I did as a child and I survived. Also, children should be taught to be on time for Sunday school and church. It is disruptive to the Sunday school teacher to have a child come in late and have to be “brought up to date.” Parents would not let their children arrive to school twenty minutes late or to their own job twenty minutes late. Being late for church consistently tells your children church and God isn’t as important as school or a job. Just my opinion. 🙂
Thank you, Janie. Well said.