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  • Josh Engen

Children in Worship

Part 2 of our series: Worship Service Vision.


(Much of the notes are collated from the sources listed in the footnotes below)


Children are a blessing and a gift to our worship service!

It is also a time where they can grow and learn through their regular inclusion and participation as we worship God together.

The sound of children in the church is the sound of Jesus keeping his promises; it is the sound of his church that lives on and never dies.

God gave children the vibrant energy that sometimes causes them to wiggle and make noise. Nevertheless, they belong right here with God’s people! This is where they learn to worship!

Encouragements to families with small children:

1. Feel free to sit toward the front where it is easier for your little ones to see and hear what’s going on.

2. Feel free to explain parts of the service, the songs, and the sermon to your little ones.

3. If you have to leave the service with your child, please feel free to do so, but please be encouraged to come back as well!

[1]


Biblical Examples


The New Testament assumes that children are in the worship service and addresses them in the letters that are to be read during the corporate gathering, the hearing of God’s Word:


Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. (Eph. 6:1; Col. 3:20)


Deuteronomy 31:12 Gather the people—men, women, dependents, and the resident aliens within your city gates—so that they may listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and be careful to follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 31:13 Then their children who do not know the law will listen and learn to fear the LORD your God …


Al Mohler helpfully summarizes (video):

Wherever children are be found they are to be welcomed by Christ’s people. Christ’s people are to be more welcoming than anyone else to children. Our churches should not be places where adults cannot wait to put the children away in order to get to the adult tasks of worship. One of the scandals of so much evangelicalism is that we send people to their rooms as soon as we get to church. Now, I’m not arguing against the utility of a nursery for infants. I’m not arguing against the appropriateness of special programs to teach children. I am saying that when you look at a church and you look at a congregation you should see the congregation. You should see young people. You should see young couples. You should see older couples and older people. You should see those coming into the final season of their life and you should see those in the beginning season of their life. You should see people sitting in pews whose feet cannot touch the floor. [4]

[1] https://www.presbyterian.org.nz/for-ministers/worship-resources/the-directory-for-worship/chapter-3-the-ordering-of-christian-worshi [2] https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/article/why-we-embrace-children-in-our-worship-service/ [3] Ibid. [4] Ibid.

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