Showing children the importance of Church
Written by Mike Dicker, youth minister, All Saints Anglican Church Petersham
Your children need to know that church is a place for them. They need to know that when Christ calls us to follow him he also calls us to belong to him and his church – the community of believers; and not just belong to other believers who are already similar in age, taste, race, background, sex, appearance or intellectual ability, but to belong to a church that expresses our unity in Christ despite our diversity.
This is the beauty of the church, that whatever differences there might be between us, they are considered insignificant in the light of what we now have in common: we are united in Christ as members of his heavenly assembly, children of the same heavenly Father, partakers of the one Spirit. When we meet together, there is a deep bond generated by the gospel because of this.
What adults and kids can do together
There are pragmatic issues that create problems for families doing church together like intellectual distance and developmental ability, but despite the differences between children and adults, it is only fitting that families, children and adults, should have the opportunity to church together. Not least because this is an opportunity for children to witness the communal worship of their parents, but also because this is their opportunity to take part in communal worship and express their unity in Christ with the diverse range of Christians they belong to.
My church, All Saints Petersham, organises our Sunday morning church service so that families have the opportunity to sing, pray, hear the Bible read, and have the Bible taught together before children leave the main service for age appropriate Bible teaching in Sunday School. Teenagers are also encouraged to stay and serve in church with their parents because intellectual distance and developmental ability become less of an issue in the teenage years progressing to adulthood. This is why All Saints doesn’t provide a Sunday School for teenagers during the Sunday service.
Tips for showing children church is important to you
- Be regular at church. Show your children this is a top priority for you and the Christian faith.
- Serve at church. Demonstrate to your children how to serve and contribute when the church assembles together.
- Encourage your children to be involved in serving at church.