Categories: Church, Community, Home, Humanity, Ministries, News and Events, Pastor's Musings

From Pastor Diane

Why do we want children in church?
Well, not all people do.  Some of the larger churches separate families as soon as they walk in the door.  There is church for adults and church for children, and they meet up at the end.  I think that some parents like this, as it does help with concentration if you are not dealing with your children during the hour of worship.  However, some people balk at sending their children to another room when they walk into a church for the first time.  There is a message, either explicit or implicit, that children are not welcome in the “main” sanctuary.  Because of my own background and how I grew up in the church, that feels odd to me.  I remember as a little girl, sitting in the church and looking up at the lights on the ceiling, spending time paging through the hymnal, singing the hymns and learning the responses.


Why do we want children in church?


There are a lot of reasons, perhaps.  Children bring energy, and curiosity.  They also bring distractions (one of the reasons, I suppose that some churches separate children and adults.)  They will not understand everything that is happening.  They might be bored sometimes.  They might ask a question at the wrong time (or, it might turn out to be just the right time).  In worship, they will get to know adults other than their parents, and learn that they are an important part of the body of Christ.


This week, I had first communion instruction for six young people at Grace.  When we talked about Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, and read the passages in Matthew 26, every single one of the remembered what they heard in church every single Sunday, “The Body of Christ, given for you.”  They connected the Bible story with what happened during worship.


That’s one of the reasons I want children in worship.


But mostly, I want children in worship because, just like all of us, they are a part of the Body of Christ.  They have an important part to play, just like the rest of us.  And I want the welcome to all of us, at every age, to be intentional.


We do need to teach children:  teach them who Jesus is, what it means to worship, what is happening.  But we will also be learning from them:  from their wonder and enthusiasm, from their questions and their insights.


Why do you want children in worship?


Pastor Diane