Friday, December 9, 2011

Children in Worship

After worshipping with us at Parish the first few times, people will often comment on how delightful, among many other things, are the sights and sounds of our "lively family atmosphere" and our wiggling, squirming, and murmuring children.  These are the sights and sounds of life.  These are the sights and sound of the past meeting the future.  And these are the sights and sounds of authentic community and covenantal worship.  Indeed, these are what Charles Spurgeon once called, "the sweet sights and sounds of a holy hubbub."  

At Parish we want to be very careful never to smother out that "holy hubbub."  That necessarily means that we very much want our children in the midst of us during worship.  We want them to learn to worship by watching their parents, siblings, friends, and covenant family members worship.  

Sometimes that may mean that things will get just a little distracting.  Sometimes it may mean that a mom or a dad (or perhaps a grandmom or uncle or sister  or next door neighbor) will have to slip out the back and into the foyer for a little "time out".  But, this is what life in the Kingdom should look and sound like. 

So, we are happy to embrace our children in our services--even as we are sensitive to and considerate of all those around us.  We will encourage families to worship together--whenever possible and practical. We want to graciously, invitingly, and purposefully help our covenant children to learn of the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel as they approach the throne of grace with all the rest of us in the Body of Christ. 

So, bring on the "wiggling, squirming, and murmuring."