“Why We All Worship Together At Eastland”Categories: GOD, Parenting, The Church, Tuesday Email Devo
One thing that I love about Eastland is that we all worship together. I realize that might seem like an obvious thing to some, but here's why I think it's worth talking about:
In many churches, it is the common practice to remove the children from the main worship service and put them into a special "children's church" where they do things that are considered more "age appropriate" for them. This obviously creates less distraction for the adults in worship, but it means removing the children from where they can worship with their parents and the other members of the church.
Here's why we all worship together at Eastland.
Children need to be challenged with the word of God just like adults do. If the worship is challenging for our children, we parents must teach them to rise to the occasion—not lower the occasion so they are comfortable. If we remove the challenges of life and spirituality, how will they learn to rise to those challenges and overcome them?
Children need to be shown how to take worship seriously. I don't mean that they need to be shown how to be stoic in worship; I mean that they need to see what it looks like when people open their hearts and bow their heads to God. They need to see what it looks like when people sing about the gospel of the Lord because they accept and live by that gospel. They need to see what it looks like when we give something of value (and let's be honest, our money is valuable when we have a family to feed) to God because we love him.
Children need to see their parents' faith in action. Regardless of how hard we try, there will always be interruptions that mean we are not able to share our faith with our kids as fully as we want to in the home. If, when we go to worship, our children are isolated from their parents and again lose an opportunity to see our faith in action, when will they see it? Above all other causes, the main reason children leave the faith of their parents when they grow up is because they have never seen it in action. Children should see us worship, pray, give, read the Bible, help the poor, cry with a brother or sister, celebrate someone's repentance, and say "amen" when God is praised! Moms and dads, our kids desperately need that from us!
One thing I love about Eastland is that even with the potential for distractions and difficulties associated with having children in the worship with us, we still worship together. We share in the singing of praise together. We humbly bow in prayer together. We remember Jesus' cross together. We learn about his Good News together. It's an integral part of who we are.
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.'" (Matt. 19:14)
- Dan Lankford, evangelist