But they won’t sit still! They don’t understand what’s going on! I can’t get anything out of the service if I have to keep my kids under control! They are a distraction to everyone else! They need something just for them!
I have heard all of these reasons from parents (and many more!) in response to our church’s decision to cancel children’s church on the first Sunday of each month and have children ages 3 and up stay in the worship service. I have four kids of my own (currently spread between ages 1 to 11) so I understand how hard it is to have the kids sit through a church service – though I probably don’t understand this quite as well as my wife!
We first made the decision to cancel Children’s Church on Communion Sundays for two main reasons. First, we realized kids never had an opportunity to take communion. Second, we realized that some children’s volunteers were always missing communion because of serving in children’s church. These were good reasons, but they were small in comparison to how God has used this in our church.
By including kids in the worship service on communion Sundays we were causing children to ask their parents about Jesus. Here are some things I’ve heard from parents now that we have been doing this for a few years:
- My son/daughter asked me if he could take communion so we talked about what Jesus did and whether or not he/she understands the gospel.
- I was able to pray with my child to accept Jesus.
- Can you help me know how to talk to my child about Jesus?
- How do I know if my child is saved and should take communion?
Think for a moment about all the incredible conversations these ideas and questions (and many, many more like them) have sparked between kids and parents in our church! I have had the opportunity to meet with parents and kids to help them in these conversations which is one of my favorite things as a pastor. I believe that having the children in the service when we take communion has done more to facilitate gospel centered conversations between parents and kids than anything else we have attempted – and that is incredibly awesome!
photo from pixabay