Pastoral Reflection 3.13.16

Family Worship Sunday

Dear church,

Each weekend, families come through the church doors and head off to their different areas of ministry: Children go off to the nursery or CoaH Kids, while their parents attend worship services with other adults.

There is a lot to be said for doing things this way: everyone is taught and ministered to in a manner that more accurately engages individual hearts and minds according to where each person is developmentally.

We do it for the same reason there is a kids menus at certain restaurants. Most second graders just don’t need a huge meal and would prefer a smaller portion of simpler foods. And sometimes they just need to sit at the “kids’ table.” Dividing families up helps kids and adults receive ministry in environments where they can best be ministered to.

There are some inherent problems with this approach, though.

When families are consistently broken up, they lose the opportunity to worship together with the rest of the church family. A prime teaching opportunity is lost, which is that of example. Kids don’t get to watch their parents and other adults worship the Lord, which is extremely important.

Our children need the gospel, and as a church we are committed to teaching them the gospel using every means possible. Family Worship Sunday is one of those means: we want the children to know that they are prayed for and loved by the adults in regular worship, that the years in children’s ministry will one day come to an end, and that for the rest of their lives they will worship together with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Consider also, as you hear the additional "noise" and "distraction" that Jesus welcomed the children with open arms. They were not interruptions to him. They were people who also needed His love and grace. Everyone needs the gospel, and everyone needs to know our Lord. And so this is a week to remember that and worship Him together.

Grace and peace,
Mike Hong

"Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away." - Matthew 19:13-15