Friday, October 2, 2009

Separation of Children & Youth not the answer

a Biblical thought...
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

a Book thought...
Pray much for me, that I may be used to quicken the spiritual life of the whole Army. I want to be so definite and so burning that God will be manifested wherever I go. (p77)
a Dave thought... by Angie Ward
In the early 1950s, American social institutions were inundated with the children from the baby boom. Seeing the unique needs of this new generation, schools, governments, and churches responded with ever more age-specific education. The result was the now familiar separation of children, youth, and adult ministries in most churches.
This type of ministry structure was revolutionary at the time, but now many churches are promoting a counter-revolution: a shift from stratified, age-segregated ministry to intentional integration of children in the overall life of the congregation.
These ministries are radical not in their unusual methods or dramatic implementation, but in the foundational ways they are challenging the status quo regarding the purpose, philosophy, and programming of children's ministry. And in the process, they are transforming their worship communities.

In some US churches elementary-age children are expected to worship with the adults. Parents are offered a variety of resources, ranging from "pew bags" with crayons and activities to help keep little ones quiet, to a CD and brochure about what children can expect and what to look for during the service, and how to prepare for worship as a family. Meanwhile, the church's leaders continue to champion the value of intergenerational worship, both to families and other church members. The weekly bulletin explains the importance of the intergenerational worship experience. Services often include a children's sermon. Wilson regularly communicates his excitement about the presence of kids in the service, and he tells young parents not to worry if their child is fidgeting, because it doesn't bother him. "Teaching our kids to worship is one of the most important things parents have to do."

Just a thought.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have worshipped in many different contexts. Many years where kids of all ages worshipped with adults. Many years where even girls and boys were seperated for sunday school, (which actually has many benefits). Many years of an actual kids church, where the kids ran the worship, etc under guidance of youth pastor. It is good to think outside the box.

Congregations are the ones who know their context best. It should be encouraged that all generations get together and decide what is best, and how social, generational, cultural inclusive worship and other components of services should/could be. One rule may not apply to another congregation. However Jesus needs to remain as the ultimate focus. It is Him who is being worshiped after all! Praise Him!