I have been teaching I Will Build My Church on Wednesday nights to a large, delightful group of first through sixth graders. One of the things I remind them again and again is: “The most important regular gathering of our church is the Sunday morning worship service.” Why are Sunday mornings so special? For many reasons, but here is an inspirational summary that specifically points to the inclusion of children:
On Sundays, we affirm that God’s people are a corporate people. We are not lone disciples, following Christ on a solitary path to holiness and heaven. We are a church. Christ came to redeem and perfect his whole body (Eph. 4:1–16). When we gather as the church, we remember that we who belong to Christ also belong to the body of which he is the head.
On Sundays, silence gives way to congregational singing, solitude disappears in a crowd of faces, and the Word read in private rings out as the Word preached in public. For our children, Sundays are filled with new sounds, new smells, and new people. This is an opportunity to learn that God is not merely the Lord of individuals or families, but he is the Lord of a vast multitude of people—so many people that not even a grown-up could count them all (Rev. 7:9). To little ones, the gathered church seems overwhelmingly huge. From the perspective of eternity, it is.
…The Puritans used to call the Lord’s Day “the market-day of the soul.” Just as a market boasts tables overflowing with nutritious meat and bread and produce, the Lord’s Day offers sweet and nourishing supplies for our soul. When we gather to worship the Lord in the assembly of the saints, we learn from his Word and grow in our love for him.
All of this is good news for little children. Sundays may mean disrupted naps and delayed meals, but our children are trading earthly provision for something far better for their undying souls. On Sundays, everything is rearranged so that they might hear the Word proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. On Sundays, every ordinary thing takes a lesser place in favor of “the one thing necessary” (Luke 10:42).
(Megan Hill, “Are Sundays Good for Babies?”)
That said, children will be helped to “taste and see” the spiritual nourishment supplied during the worship service when they are properly prepared and equipped. Here are some helpful resources to consider:
- 8 Tips for Helping Your Child Worship—A free, printable PDF to share with families at your church.
- My Church Notebooks—A helpful tool for children to use during the worship service.
- Children and the Worship Service—A booklet by David and Sally Michael to equip parents and leaders to aid children in worshiping God as they participate in the worship service.
- Helping Children Benefit from the Sermon—An article by Erik Raymond.