Archive for September, 2014
DSC is not alone in its need to think carefully and labor consistently to include our children in the corporate worship services. And parents at DSC are not alone in wrestling with the question of when their children are ready to join us.
Here’s the introduction to a post published today by Kevin DeYoung on just these issues, titled, “History Helps Put Things in Perspective“:
I am strongly opposed to providing our kids with alternate worship experiences all the way through high school. They ought to be worshiping with adults, with their families, in “big” church, not having a special service tailored to their teen demographic.
I am a believer in parents bringing their children, even young children, with them into worship. Our kids can pick up more than we know. And even if the content is beyond them, they will learn some songs, pick up some liturgy, and see their parents worshiping Christ.
I’m a proponent of families worshiping together.
I’m not a proponent, however, of taking a good principle and making it an absolute rule.
He goes on to interact with what we know about Protestant church culture in the 16th century. They had kids back then too!
Read the whole thing here and let’s keep talking about this together.
Questions are crucial for understanding, unity, and fruitfulness in almost any relationship. This is obvious in marriage, parenting, and at work.
Good questions and thoughtful answers are important in the context of the church as well, perhaps especially between shepherds and the flock. And so DSC’s elders are available in the halls around church, by email, and once each year we set aside an evening to take questions in the context of a corporate gathering. We call it, an “Elders Q&A.”
Our next Elders Q&A will take place on the last Wednesday of this month, September 24, at 6:30 PM.
If you have a question, submit it. If you don’t, think of one and then submit it. Here are four ways to ask your questions:
- Submit your question using your bulletin Comment Card next Sunday and drop that in an offering box.
- Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Communicate your question for the Q&A to an elder directly.
- Show up with your question on the 24th. The elders will take some questions from a mic in the course of the evening.
Of course, we appreciate your questions early. This helps us notice recurring themes and spend our time in a way that best serves the congregation. Any questions that are not addressed at the Q&A will be answered through the DSC Blog or by email.
In Sunday’s sermon, “God’s People in God’s Presence,” Ryan addressed at some length the role of children in our corporate gatherings.
It is easy to assume that these gatherings are for adults, and that children’s programs are a substitute for children. But as a general principle, it seems consistent with the Bible’s description of the family and of the church for children to join us as soon as they are able. The question of when they are ready depends largely on our role as parents in training them and preparing them. Each family will need to work through how to get from here to there with their young ones.
Here are some articles to help you work this out in the context of your family.
Articles on families together in corporate worship
- “The Family: Together in God’s Presence,” by John and Noel Piper
- “Children in Worship—Let’s Bring it Back,” by Jason Helopoulos
- “Children in Worship—Mom Tested Tips,” by Jason Helopoulos
Statements from other churches families together in corporate worship
- “Practical Suggestions on Your Role in Worship,” by David Eby, North City Presbyterian Church
- “On the Family Pew: Children in Corporate Worship,” by Michael Brown, Christ United Reformed Church
- “Teaching Your Children to Worship,” by Mark Kuykendall, Bethel Bible Church
- “Children and Corporate Worship,” Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church
- “Ten Reasons Why Your Children Should Sit with You in Worship,” by Reggie Weems, Heritage Baptist Church
- “Worshiping with Your Children,” by Matthew Fletcher, Webster Bible Church
If you had to read one article on this subject, we’d recommend the piece written by John and Noel Piper, “The Family: Together in God’s Presence.” In fact, we’re making this available for you in print this coming Sunday and around the church on an ongoing basis.
It is good for families to worship together with the family of God. Everything else that goes on around here on Sunday is second to that.
This weekend we will sing a song that is increasingly familiar to us at DSC: “Oh How Good It Is.” This is a song about what it means to be the family of God written by Keith and Kristyn Getty, who will be with us in just two weekends for a concert on Saturday, September 20. By the way, if you haven’t already, click here to register.
Here’s a video of the song followed by lyrics:
[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]
Here are the lyrics to this song, written by Keith and Kristyn Getty, Ross Holmes, and Stuart Townend.
Oh how good it is
when the family of God
dwells together in spirit,
in faith, and unity;
Where the bonds of peace
of acceptance and love
are the fruit of His presence
here among us.
So with one voice we’ll sing to the Lord,
and with one heart we’ll live out His Word,
till the whole earth sees
the Redeemer has come,
for He dwells in the presence of His people.
Oh how good it is
on this journey we share
to rejoice with the happy
and weep with those who mourn;
For the weak find strength,
the afflicted find grace
when we offer the blessing
Oh how good it is
to embrace His command,
to prefer one another,
forgive as He forgives;
When we live as one
we all share in the love
of the Son with the Father
and the Spirit.