But over the past several generations many churches have split families apart as soon as they walk in the door. The adults go one direction, the children go another, and sometimes they do not see each other again until it is time to go home.
Due to the nature of handling groups of other people's children, these children's programs often become entertainment with spiritual flavor developing in children the expectation of being entertained at church and hindering them from learning to worship. While good has come from Sunday School programs, these types of programs have alro produced a large number of problems.
In our experience, nursery care, and youth ministries have retarded the maturation and self-discipline of many children. The cumulative effect of these programs has been to train children to be entertained at church, to teach them to focus on themselves, and to diminish the role of the father and mother in the spiritual training of their children.
We believe worshipping as a family accomplishes the following worthy goals:
- it allows children to share in and experience the corporate worship of God’s people;
- it eliminates the artificial “teen culture” which can bring peers into competition with parents or weaken the relationship between children and parents; and
- it most closely matches Biblical patterns of corporate worship.
We, at Crown and Covenant, will not separate you from your children; rather we will help you to raise your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord! God has given you precious arrows - children - to prepare for His service.
Worshipping with children can be quite a challenge, especially when there are several littles ones who are not yet reading and able to follow along for themselves or when there are babies needing care. We understand these difficulties as many of us either have lived, or are living, through them as well. We understand babies cry and that this is a part of worship from time to time. It doesn't bother us in the least. We rejoice that the Lord has given these little ones and that they are able to worship with us. But it has also been our experience that when families are having family worship everyday in the home, children can learn to sit contentedly through much of the worship. An excellent resource in this regard is the book, Family Worship, by Joel Beeke, available through our church library or from many Christian bookstores.
Wherever we find the church gathered for worship in Scripture (e.g. Joshua 8:35, Ezra 10:1), it is the family in its totality: fathers, mothers, and children worshipping together.