Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Worshiping With Kids

A current trend in ministry is actually a harking back to “the old way of doing church” – Parents and their children attending worship together.  Of course, there is a fancy name for it now, Intergenerational Worship.  Basically, it is a response to the decline in seeing young people stay with the faith upon graduation from high school and entering into college.  Christianity Today and LeadershipJournal.net recently posted two great articles on this very issue.  One is based on kids – and the other is youth!  

Keep in mind, the idea of age-segregated ministries has only been in place since the middle of the 20th Century.  With the rise in Baby Boomer children, and a lack of effective churches, age specific ministry was a natural response.  That is when groups such as InterVarsity, YFC and Navigators got their start.  But I think we have done ourselves a disservice in separating the family SO MUCH and we are beginning to see the effects of it.  Age separated and appropriate teaching has its place in the church, but efforts should be made to support the families in their decision to worship with their kids.  It is, after all, Biblical!

Keep in mind, also, the parents are indeed the ones responsible for the spiritual nurturing of their children, regardless of their age,  If we set up structures and programs that even HINT that parents can rely on church to “take care of it,” a lot of them will do just that!  We must be intentional in partnering, encouraging, equipping and inspiring parents to use everything in their arsenal to discipleship their children.

Dean L. Butterfield

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