Children And Congregational Worship: When, Why, And How? -- By: David W. Hegg
RAR 10:1 (Winter 2001) p. 105
Children And Congregational Worship:
When, Why, And How?
At some point every Christian parent faces this question: At what age should my children begin participating in the corporate worship service of the church? For the parents who not only want the best for their child, but also recognize the spiritual importance of the gathered worship community, this is a question that bears serious consideration. The purpose of this article is to explore the issue, offer some biblical insights, suggest a solution, and then offer some tips on making the corporate worship experience a meaningful one for you and your children when they reach that point in their life when they begin participating in the gathered worship of the church.
Everyone agrees that, at some point, participation in the corporate gathered worship of the church is essential. Hebrews 10:25 exhorts the believer not to forsake the gathered meeting of the church. It is in the corporate meeting that the people of God enter his presence in a unique way as they blend their voices together in praise and prayer, and are instructed by Christ through the preaching of his Word. It is in the gathered meeting that the Lord’s Supper and baptism are celebrated, greatly encouraging the believer’s heart as he participates in the reality of Christ’s promised mystical presence (1 Corinthains 10:14–17). It is in the congregation that the individual is reminded that he is not
RAR 10:1 (Winter 2001) p. 106
alone, that he is in loving relationship with others who have been saved by grace alone, and that this united company is called upon to be the visible face of the invisible God before the watching world. Throughout church history it has always been a point of agreement among God’s people that the gathered, corporate meeting is essential, not only to the individual but to the mission of the church in this world.
But at what age can we reasonably expect our children to reap the benefits of the corporate worship and preaching service? Before answering, it must be said that attendance in the church service will never damage a child, regardless of his or her age, providing the service is done in a manner worthy of Christ. However, it is proper to ask at what age may a child best be benefited by participation in the corporate worship service? As we begin our search for an answer, we must first ask if there are any biblical texts that give us instruction in this area.
What Does The Bible Say?
While children are seen to be vitally important to God, and occupy an honored position in the ministry of Jes...
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