Gather the people. Consecrate the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants… -Joel 2:16
We love children, and God loves them, too. We believe God wants them to be at the core of his covenant community. Why?
- Jesus explicitly said to bring children to him, so they could see and hear and experience him (Matt 19:14).
- We learn from them how to worship. Jesus said, without qualification, that we must have a childlike faith. To learn what that means, we must observe them expressing it, using it, in worship.
- If children have a faith (knowledge of God, trust of God, love of God) worth emulating, then they are not the church of tomorrow, but are core members of the church of today.
To parents, may we suggest:
- Relax! God put the wiggle in children; don’t feel you have to suppress it in God’s house. All are welcome!
- Sit toward the front where it is easier for your little ones to see and hear what’s going on. They tire of seeing the backs of others’ heads.
- Quietly explain the parts of the service to your child.
- Sing the hymns, pray, and voice the responses. Children learn liturgical behavior by copying you.
- Remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to the Church, to God, and to one another. Let them know that they are at home in this house of worship.
- Our nursery is open with video and audio of the service. For a change of scenery, bring your kids there for a few minutes, then back in the service when you’re ready.
The presence of children is a gift to the church and they are a reminder that our congregation is growing. Please welcome our children and give a smile of encouragement to their parents.
Join us, and approach God as His child today!