This exhortation was given at King’s Cross Church (Moscow, ID) on March 13, A.D. 2022.
One of the most immediately obvious facts about our church for a newcomer is that children are very present.
There is no peppy volunteer waiting to scan their barcode and send them down the indoor slide to children’s church.
And not only are children present, they are welcome. They belong here. Not because we think they’re cute—which they are—but because God has claimed them as part of His family. And it would be quite a statement to leave someone out of a family gathering.
But not only are children welcome here, they are here to participate. They are here to worship their God along with the rest of us.
We do not bring our children along through this service with the end goal simply being keeping them quiet by all means possible – even if it feels that way sometimes. They are with us because we want our children to grow up in the Lord, worshiping him with all the saints from their earliest memories.
So what does their participation look like?
It means having them stand and sit along with everyone else. Helping them to follow the music when they are able to read. Kneeling with them in our prayer of confession. Encouraging them in different ways to listen to the sermon while they color and draw. Having them partake of the Lord’s Supper if they are baptized. Teaching them to lift up their tiny hands during the doxology. And for one last example—my favorite—encouraging them to shout a hearty “Amen!” along with the rest of us.
All of this, of course, according to their maturity. Do not expect a two-year-old to participate like a twelve- year-old. But do help them participate.
And so I’ll end with one encouragement directly to our kids. Children, if you can hear my words and understand what I’m saying, this is especially for you: This is your church. You are here to worship God with mom and dad and everyone else. And God absolutely loves it when you do.