Let the Little Children Come

It has been an incredibly busy and tough season of ministry. The Covid-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on our society, causing fear to be a daily factor in many of our lives. It's sometimes hard to see the good through the constant barrage of the not good that we see and hear. However, as Christians, we know that the Lord is always working things together for His glory and our good. What a promise to cling to!

One of the good things that our church has experienced through this time is our children being in corporate worship. To see the age diversity of worshipers has been a welcome adjustment. The unique challenge of ministry has forced us to not be able to have Sunday children's worship up to this point, and honestly, I believe it has been a good thing. Now, that is certainly not a knock at our children's ministry! We have a fantastic ministry to our children, and the leaders work hard to ensure our children's spiritual growth through many great formats. But I believe our children are missing important spiritual formation by never attending corporate worship.

Scripture is clear in its mandate to teach the generations about the Lord. Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” Also, in Psalm 78:4 we read, “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” The call to teach our children the faith is evident in the Scriptures. It is the responsibility of every parent to train their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Deut. 6). This charge extends to the church, to bring up and teach the coming generations the gospel. One of the main ways this is done is through corporate worship. Of course, worship is not just singing, but uplifted praise is a main form of expression of worship.

In this gathered time of proclamation, the church admonishes one another with Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Col. 3:16) which teaches and reminds us of the goodness of the Lord. During these times of worship, our hearts and minds are molded and shaped by the Gospel, and we help teach our children of the grace of the Lord. Theology is taught in our praise and worship, so it is imperative that we help the coming generations learn of the Lord through the songs that we sing. How can we accomplish this corporate task if we do not have intergenerational worship? How can our children be taught the truths of Scripture if we do not do so together, so that they may learn from those who have walked with the Lord for many years?

The church needs to provide opportunity for every generation to worship together.

Yes, the home is the main institution set for the instruction, but second only to that is the corporate gathering of worship in the local church. Because of this, the church needs to provide opportunity for every generation to worship together. This will likely look different from church to church, but in our current society we have churches that are not providing these opportunities for intergenerational worship. An unfortunate consequence of this is that many people are worshipping without younger people around them, and even more devastating is the fact that there are young people who have never worshipped with the corporate body of believers. A church that recognizes this and intentionally creates opportunity for intergenerational worship will be blessed.

So let the children come! We will be blessed by it and our children will, Lord willing, grow in grace.

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