Are you one of the ones who loves it or dreads it? The schools break up hooray! The kids are with us in church….. Oh no! You mean for the whole summer?
We don’t always have time to explain why the Elders think it is a positive thing to have kids in the church service over the summer. We also find it difficult to pass on some helpful tips. This short article will seek to explain why and then tomorrow I hope to explain 5 Tips to help you with the kids in.
WHY HAVE KIDS IN THE SERVICE?
The church is a family. It literally started as one family (Abram’s) and has been growing ever since. It is made up of all ages and stages of life. There is a time and a place to break off for teaching that is geared towards one age, but there is also the need to express that we are one family. We chose to do this at a couple of points of the year with everyone in one service. At Christmas day and Good Friday we do not run Adventurers so that we can really see the whole church family gathered. Adventurers and Fusion are great, but we do not want them to be the only way children connect with the message of Christ. As they grow up, we want them to increasingly see themselves as being part of the wider church family. Ephesians puts this really helpfully. The whole book is to the church (Ephesians 1:1). It expects Fathers to be present (Eph 6:4), it expects wives to be present (Eph 5:22) and it expects children to be present (Eph 6:1). We are not given a manual on what exactly this looked like, but we do know from the culture that families were much more of a working unit than they tend to be now. I am challenged by emphasis Ephesians and Deuteronomy put on the role Fathers have in encouraging the spiritual nurture of their kids. Dad’s, we should be present and leading in this. So often I am asked questions by the Mums, when really it should be led by us Dads.
One day the security blanket of the youth and children’s ministry will be taken away. Dads, a question we need to ask is ‘Are we getting ready for that day?’ ‘What do we need to do before we are ready?’ Having kids sin over the summer helps us see where we are and where we are heading. It reminds us the church family we should be even if we are not quite there yet. Each week there should be something to rejoice in and something to work on. It will not always be comfortable, but we will make progress. I hope tomorrow’s 5 tips will give you more help and encouragement to look forward to having your kids in the service.