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Bethlehem Blogs

May 18, 2018

Children in Corporate Worship: Refreshing, Remembering, and Raising Up

Gil McConnell

Pastor for Children & Family Discipleship, North

This Sunday, May 20, will be the last day of Sunday School classes for children and youth until we begin again after Labor Day. This means we will have more children in our worship services with their parents.

As we embrace this season together as a church family, consider a few of the benefits of taking a break from classes over the summer ...

1. Refreshing Our Volunteer Ministry Partners

We ask a lot of our classroom volunteers. Week after week they provide joyful, faithful, self-sacrificial ministry to our children. When we give them time off, we say, “Thank you! Now go rest and be refreshed!” This break helps many volunteers return with joy to serve in the next school year. What a gift!

2. Remembering the Value of Children

Leading our children, grandchildren, or the neighbor’s children to engage in corporate worship can be a challenge. But the very presence of children with us in corporate worship communicates that we value them as gifts from God. At times we may feel distracted by the increased number of children in our services. Let’s pray for patience and seek ways to serve the children and families around us. (See Psalm 127:3 and James 1:17.)

3. Raising Up Worshipers

Children are in training. They won’t always behave or engage in ways that we want them to. They probably won’t have exhilarating experiences each time we gather. And we realize that there are reasons why the corporate worship setting might not work for some children. However, for the children who are there, we are aiming at more than just sitting still. We ultimately want to lead children to worship God in the context of our worship gatherings—and in all of life (See Romans 12:1, Deuteronomy 6:13, and Luke 4:8).

In corporate worship, children hear the gospel preached, gain a high view of Scripture, and have a shared experience with family members that can be referenced and discussed later. Sure, sometimes what is taught will sail over their heads (maybe over ours too!). But much of what is caught from passionate worshipers of Jesus around them will be impressed upon their hearts, even at a very young age, and carried through the years. They are often taking in more than we think.

So, dear friends, let’s pray that God will awaken their hearts to the glory of Christ through significant moments in our worship gatherings over years of time. Let the children come!