I read this from a young woman as she reflected on her childhood:
“Our family went to church together every Sunday. I wasn’t really sure why, but I didn’t mind. I got to dress up in cute dresses and sit with my dad. He was so busy during the week, and church was one time I got to hang out with him for hours. I didn’t care if it was in a pew listening to some guy talking about God. I just drew pictures and showed them to my dad.”
Our 5 year old, Bethany, loves sitting on my lap during church. She sings, draws and colors. Sometimes she is restless, but I know she is listening. One Sunday, after getting our new senior pastor, I was talking too long during our “greet one another” time and she said, “Daddy, stop talking! The new guy is speaking.”
So sweet. So innocent.
I love having Bethany in there with us. I know she is young, but she is gaining an experience every Sunday that so many children are missing. She gets to snuggle with me and other close friends and adopted grandmas that sit with us. She is hearing other people pray. She is seeing her mom and dad, other kids, teenagers, adults and grandparents sing and praise God. She is hearing the pastor’s stories and maybe even getting more of the message than we think. She sees communion, baptisms, testimonies. Maybe one day she will help pass the offering plate, handout bulletins, sing in the band, lead a prayer.
She also experiences a community that loves Jesus, young and old! I frankly, want her to grow up and feel out of place when she attends a church with only kids her age! Why? Because there is complete community when multi-generations are present.
Trust me, I know it’s not always easy having our young children in worship. Have any of your kids smacked the bottoms of ladies as they walked down the aisle to partake in communion? I don’t think so! (One of our boys was the guilty perpetrator. I wonder where he learned that from? )
What they gain from the Body of Christ worshiping together is so much more than just whether or not they get anything from the sermon. They miss being a part of the full body.
Typically, the kind of worship experience our kids grow up with will be the kind they look for when they are older. What kind of worship experience will your children desire to belong to as they grow into adulthood? Most of the time, it will look a lot like it does now. So the next question is: what are the experiencing on Sunday mornings now?
Helping you have Homes Devoted,