I could have titled this post, “Why I believe”, or “Why I feel” children in the main worship service is right. Instead, the title for this post is, “I Know Children In The Main Worship Service Is Right.” When I first came to our church as pastor we had a children’s worship service. I was always in favor for that service until I began seeing my daughter and other children come to the main worship service with their parents. What I saw was amazing! They were not bored. They were not disruptive. Instead, they were learning, growing, and enjoying being with the full church body. After months of prayer with our staff, now all of our children worship with their families in the main worship service.
I love what Deuteronomy 6:4-9 tells us…
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Did you catch what was said in verse seven? We are to teach our children diligently to love the Lord your God. The word diligently means to do something constantly. To be persistent, to give attention to this, even if it is difficult. This passage goes on to say that we are to teach our children to love the Lord your God by talking to them when we are at our homes, going to school or going to church, before bedtime and in the morning when we rise to meet a new day.
I know from experience that the best time to diligently teach our children to love the Lord your God is when we are together in the main worship service at church. This is a time that is so special, not just for the children, but for the entire church. This is a time for the entire church to see themselves as disciplemakers, mentors in worship, and teachers of the faith. As a parent I know the challenges we face when striving to teach my children to love God with everything inside of them. But for one hour a week, I know what my children and other children at our church are receiving when they sit with their families in worship together.
I’m not trying to brag, but I have seen first hand at our church that having children in the main worship service is right on many levels. Here are a few things I have noticed over the years.
- They see their family and church family singing praise to God, praying, reading and listening to the Word of God, and giving to the Lord’s work through the church.
- They see their family and church family repenting from sin and seeking forgiveness from Jesus Christ. Then they see the thankfulness in their lives from receiving Christ’s forgiveness for their sins.
- They see older members in the church family worshipping together, serving together, and continuing on in their faith over the years.
- They get to BE the church with the church.
- They get to participate by serving so that their gifts and faith in the Lord will increase.
- They get to hear the preached Word of God and respond to the Word.
- They get to take the Lord’s Supper with their family and see others being baptized.
- They get to take home what they’ve experienced in worship and live it out with their family in the home the rest of the week.
I’m sure there are so many more points I could make, but these are the ones that came to mind that bring me joy! I’m not trying to tell other pastors what to do, but I Know Children In Worship Is Right! It is for the glory of God and for the good of the church.
If you had to read one article on this subject, I would recommend the piece written by John and Noel Piper, “The Family: Together in God’s Presence.”