CHILDREN'S RIGHTS TO BE IN WORSHIP
20 Jul, 2016
Children model the Kingdom of Heaven and we need them in the centre of our worship...
Daron has a soapbox moment.
To those pastors, elders, church members, parents who want to send their children to "children's church" so that they as adults can get something out of worship? To those who view children as distractions to "my" ability to worship. To those who would rather mold worship into their image rather than their children's or God's. To those who would rather let their children play outside than include them in worship alongside them. To those who want to send children away in order that we adults can pay attention....
Robbie Castleman (Parenting in the Pew, 2013 and plenary speaker for the International Children's Spirituality Conference 2016) has three words for you and your ilk..
"GET OVER IT!"
It costs to love kids. It costs to include them in worship. It costs to worship alongside children. It costs to parent in the pew but the cost is worth it. The rewards are eternal.
A correct understanding of what worship is may help us to grasp the significance of parenting in the pew. The point is that we are not the point of worship....God is!
Worship is for God's glory, not for our benefit or for what we can get out of it.
Children model the Kingdom of Heaven and we need them in the centre of our worship. We need to include them and realise that they have the same rights to be in worship with the rest of the congregation as we do!
Worship is not about you or me or our right to be undistracted. Worship is a response to what God has done for us, not what God is going to give to us.
Worship is not about theological jargon or complexity.... It is a place where you, me, God and our children get together to respond to the awesomeness, majesty, grandeur and grace of God.
What will our worship look like if we dare to assume that children have just as much right to access the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches and liturgies of worship as we do?... When this realisation is grasped, maybe then our worship will be more authentic, raw and real!
Maybe both children and adults will no longer be bored, but will wake up and realise that the Kingdom of Heaven is near and here!
The real question is, Are you ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven or are you sending it out of your midst and into the back room?
Daron gets off his soapbox, calls the children from the back rooms, the dusty basements, the trees and car parks and brings them into the centre of corporate worship!