We’re All the Church–Kids Included
This post is one in a series reflecting on my time with our last church that ultimately closed. You can read more context here.
As I’ve reflected on our time with our last church, this is the thing I grieve the loss of most. Admittedly, this is probably more because I’m a dad than anything else, but so be it.
We were diligent about incorporating kids and youth into the life of the church. We did have programming for them because the reality is a five year old is going to struggle to get anything out of a sermon. But any activity that separated kids from the rest of the church was only done with careful consideration. Separating kids and youth from adults in any way was not the default.
We had elementary students who did our Scripture readings. Middle schools students ran our powerpoint for worship gatherings. (Don’t underestimate stuff like this. My son did this when he entered sixth grade and he took such pride in it. He understood his place in helping others to worship and learn. It made him feel like a legitimate part of the body.) One of our middle school students began playing drums for songs where he was able. Our kids and students helped us plan, decorate, and serve.
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free, [eleven or fifty-five year olds]—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
I understand there are legitimate reasons for separating kids and youth from adults in the church. I also think it is done far too much. I saw the beauty and goodness of treating the kids and youth as “full members” of the body. It’s something I will take with me and work for in any way I’m able.
Other Posts in This Series
- The Love of the Church
- The Importance of the Weekly Gathering
- The Privilege and Challenge of Being a Pastor and Friend