Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Adult Church

And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 18:3

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." - Matthew 19:14

Why do we have "Children's Church?"

Why do so many churches today place their children in special classes and never take them to the main worship service?

It seems to me, based on Scripture, that we should have "Adult's Church," not "Children's Church."

My church, until recently, had a special time, called the "Children's Sermon," when all the kids could come forward for a special message for them. Of course, the adults in the room usually enjoyed it more and got more out of it than the kids. Why do we not have a time of "Adult's Sermon," when all the adults come forward for special instruction?

We have this idea that we need to give kids a special space so that they can learn the Gospel stories and so that the adults can have adult messages in the "big service." Jesus, and later Paul, regularly tells us that we are backwards and inverted in our thinking. We think it is best to lead and Jesus says it is best to serve.

We're like the rich young ruler who wants to know what sensible thing we need to do to obtain eternal life, and Jesus says we need to do the insensible thing of selling all our possessions and following him. We say it is time to grow up, get a job and make a living, and Jesus says that God takes care of birds and grass, so of course He'll take care of us as well. You can't preach the literal teaching of Jesus without some "mature" believer explaining all the mystery and simplicity away - and it is often the preacher who does this.

I know my kids are growing up because they are questioning me more and more. It is good for them to question me. I am not God. They need to break out of the mold I am trying to form on them and be their own. It is not the same with God. Instead, we need to stop questioning Him. No, I don't mean that we can't ask God why. What I do mean is that we trust Him and take Him at His word. This is what my children did, and still do for the most part. We need to get back to trusting and obeying.

To get back to the main idea I started with, though: I can't help but think that we may be missing the mark if we aren't talking in such a way that the children can participate. We may be missing the mark if we aren't worshiping in such a way that the children can participate.

Instead of sending kids off to a special place for them so that we can keep a special place for ourselves, I think we need to start making the main space a space for all; and we do that by making it a space for children more than a space for adults.

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