Thoughts on children in church


I've had a hard time getting my mind off of kids in our society and in our churches. On the one hand in our society we have have almost created an idolatry with our children and their activities. They've got to be in every sport, every ASP, scouts, club, and somewhere there is supposed to be quality time, sleep and homework.

Then we go to church and...we put the kids in their worship, youth in their's and adults in their's. Somehow these words come to my mind...
Some people brought little children to Jesus to have him hold them. But the disciples told the people not to do that. When Jesus saw this, he became irritated. He told them, "Don't stop the children from coming to me. Children like these are part of the kingdom of God. I can guarantee this truth: Whoever doesn't receive the kingdom of God as a little child receives it will never enter it." Mark 10:13-15 GW

Let's be honest, how in the heck, can we imagine for one minute we are going to get to the point of becoming like Jesus if we don't follow the simple examples he set for us.
Today we got a new staff member at Due West. Her little boy was there and she needed to learn some of her new responsibilities. I had stuff I wanted to do but there he was and there I was and so I thought, "what the hey!" So we played with a truck and little toys. I wiped his nose and watched him have fun just being a kid. The little guy brought me back to some key points I needed to be reminded of:

1. Childlike is not the same as childish. We need to be spontaneous, to laugh, to cry, to play, and skin up our knees. We don't need to whinny, needy, and clingy - those are three dwarfs the seven kicked out of the house long ago.

2. It is not about you. Sure, it is. Really? There is an abundance of Biblical knowledge in people's heads whose butts are sitting in pews. I like the way Ron Sylvia put it, "You want deep? I'm still working on that love your neighbor thing!"

3. It is about God. It may just be me but the cross, the Bible, the music, the sermon, the prayers, those are there to connect us to God. When it comes to the standard Christian faith, yeah, it is about God.

4. It doesn't take a village - it takes a family. Train a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not turn away from it. Proverbs 22:6 GW In the UMC, at baptism we commit to raising a child up, to helping and modeling our faith. Our children need to see all ages worshipping together. And maybe if we learned to watch our children, we'd learn it is really not about getting anything anyway, it was, is, and remains about giving.

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