The Generations in Worship

Here is an excellent message by Pastor Bud Burk (Pastor for Child & Youth Discipleship, Bethlehem Baptist Church) for everyone in the church, especially parents and pastors regarding children being present with their parents in the corporate worship service. A few excerpts for your encouragement... 

An Honest Word As a parent, it can be hard having children in the worship service, especially in the early years. I know. All the vision casting and the practical application does not necessarily remove the challenge. Please love your children however, in a way that welcomes sacrifice for a season and it may last 10 years. Sacrifice? For example:
  • “I am not getting as much out of the sermon as I used to. I am not getting fed like I used to”: I know.
  • Consider this: God is giving you an opportunity to worship him in the worship service in a distinct way during this temporary season and when that opportunity is over (kids grow up/mature) it will never return again.
  • Transformation happens to parents when their young children are with them in the worship service
  • Get up out of the service/needed correction: humbling, but rest in Christ as you walk down the aisle saying “I am in Christ.” A distinct gift to parents in a distinct season.
  • Patience testing: Fruit of the Spirit. A distinct gift to parents in a distinct season.
  • Therefore, as my child presses my humility, patience, self–control, forbearing love and … it is for my good for God is wielding his grace in my heart in those moments. I am becoming more like Jesus. This is worship. It is just a different expression of worship than what I am used to. Embrace the sovereignly placed sacrifice and see what God has for you in Christ.
If you are like me … when those years are over, you will long for a little one to sit next to you in worship. Years of Watching
  • Watching your silent attention to the heralding; the preaching of the Word
  • Where else will your children see you receive the ministry of the Word—this is the only place
  • Watching you smile and nod or shake your head with a sad countenance
  • Watching you read your Bible as the preacher preaches
  • Watching you look up when his voice gets loud
  • Watching the pastor smile with joy or have an earnest look on his face
  • Watching you sing
  • Watching you raise your arms and hands during worship in song: welcome and exalt
  • Watching mom sit down holding her head in her hands as everyone else remains standing, and seeing dad rest his hand on her shoulder
  • Watching you eat the Lord’s Supper
  • Watching you holding the cup and looking at it
  • Watching you holding the bread
  • Watching you open up your Bible and read something during the Supper
  • Watching you close your eyes during most of the Supper
Years of Hearing
  • Hearing the passionate Spirit-filled heralding; the preaching of God’s Word
  • Hearing words like “Jesus,” “gospel,” and “glory” over and over for years
  • Hearing words like “compassion,” “mercy,” “grace” over and over for years
  • Hearing words like “repentance,” “sin,” “humility,” “dependence” over and over for years
  • Hearing you and others say “amen” during the heralding; the preaching of God’s Word
  • Hearing you say “O Lord, help me,” under your breath
  • Hearing you say “Thank You, Jesus,” under your breath
  • Hearing the loudness and quietness of the preacher
  • Hearing him address parents … children
  • Hearing his joy when talking about home, and home is a Person...home is Jesus…I think he wants to go home
  • Hearing his brokenhearted gladness when talking about his sin, Jesus and the gospel
  • Hearing his peace and contentment when talking about the presence of the Spirit and the wisdom, power and love of the Father
  • Hearing many voices sing praise to God
  • Sometimes it is a quiet song
  • Sometimes it is a loud song
  • Sometimes it is without instruments
  • Hearing prayer
  • Listening to the pastor pray to God whom he believes is really listening
  • Listening to the prayers of praise
  • Listening to silence, during confession
  • All–church praise
Today I am casting the vision for our children to be in the worship service, not primarily for what they directly receive (although I could). I am casting the vision for what they see you receive in the worship service.
  • You all are training children
  • What they see
  • What they hear
You can watch or read the entire sermon here.   Photo Credit: Madeline Hunt at Sofia Hilder Photography
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