Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Should the Children Stay in Church?

Yesterday, I posted some reflections on children in church.

Today, I would like to consider the question why should children stay in church?

Here are just a few reasons I think that children should remain in church:
  1. In the Old Testament, God expected them to be part of His gathered people (Deut 31:12-13; Joel 2:12-17; see yesterday's post)
  2. God specifically included them so that they could hear the Law and learn to fear the Lord (Dt 31:12-13). Children today still need to hear God's Word and learn to fear Him.
  3. Children need to learn to worship and sit under the authority of God's Word -- even if they don't yet fully understand or are bored. They need to learn from their parent's example. They need to learn that church is not about them, but God.
  4. Keeping the children in church allows for intergenerational interaction. There are natural opportunities for the older to teach the younger and the younger to inspire and encourage the older.
  5. Keeping the children in church keeps families together and gives Dad a natural opportunity to teach them about God and the gospel -- based on their questions (Dt 6:1-25)
  6. Pragmatically, it ends some of the staffing difficulties that are always present in running a children's ministry.
I realize that there is no direct New Testament command to keep children in the gathered worship service with adults. But, for all these reasons and the ones mentioned yesterday, it seems wise.

That is why, by God's grace, I am moving towards keeping my children in church.

In Christ
Pastor Mike

P.S. This is an issue that should not divide us as Christians. There is no clear cut command. Each of us will have to come to our own conviction and live it out. Which ever conclusion we come to, we must not judge each other in this matter (Romans 14:4). But, I would encourage you to think on these matters.