ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
21 Dec, 2016
We just sent the Kingdom out the back door and everyone seemed to be OK with that!!!!
Daron had a soap box moment...
I weep and gnash my teeth!!!
SENDING OUR KIDS OUT THE BACK DOOR! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING CHURCH?
The music is awesome, the kids are with their families watching, learning and participating ready for worship... ready to meet Jesus... My heart sinks as the preacher steps to the pulpit and tells the kids that there is a program out the back door..........I cringe, I weep, my heart breaks, I then become indignant... What are we thinking, why? Is the message about to be preached more important to adults than children.... I felt the urge to jump up and say "Let the children stay, let them sit at the feet of Jesus for a while... Let them watch, let them listen, let them participate, let them testify." I choked back the sobs, the anger at the injustice and sat silently... stunned, unfocused and unlistening... We had just sent the kingdom out the back door and everyone seemed to be ok with that!
What message do we subtly convey to our kids when we make the announcement from the pulpit that the kids have a program out the back and then we send the kids from our midst?...literally out the back door. We send them out from our corporate worship so our adults can get on with real (sic) worship.... Our actions really speak louder than words.
Have you thought of what this action subtly teaches our kids about worship, discipleship, church and the value we place on them? I wonder what Jesus has to say about that? Kids act on what we do to them far more then what we say! They get the subtle messages our actions send and store it way for a future time when they can and will act on it.
Before you remove the kids from worship and think that kids church (an occasional kids church is fine as a special memory event but let's not make it a habit) is the answer, please consider what you are removing them from? Please don't remove the Kingom of Heaven from your midst. They are the very heart of our mission and church....including worship! Children are discipled in worship, in connection, in conversation with adults, as they see it modelled for them and participate in all that corporate worship means. They need to hear and respond to altar calls but they can't if they are not there to hear, see, feel, touch and smell what worship in community looks like.
Children's moral and spiritual foundations are set by the age of 9. They make a decision to follow Jesus well before the age of 14. What message are we allowing to seep into their bones during this formative time?
The kingdom of heaven belongs to children and that is now... The kingdom of heaven is in our midst now and not just in the future! Children belong in worship now and not when they get to some magical age... (By then they are gone)
Over time when children worship frequently with the most important adults in their lives led by worship leaders who are intentionally working to draw them in, listened to preachers and teachers who intentionally include them, they find that liturgy has indeed “crept into their bones.” And, once the creeping begins it tends to continue throughout life.
Church, where are your children? It is there you will find the Kingdom of Heaven.
Daron hops off his soapbox, pulls out his balloon bag, runs to the back door and calls the children back!