Allow Children to Worship in Church

Allow the Children

Posted by danieljkoren on June 24, 2011 in Devotional |
“[Allow] little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14).
Our world likes to shuffle kids off to the side. We institutionalize them into social silos like calves in a feedlot. We stick them in daycare with managed schedules along side other savages. We segregate them by their age at school and talk to them like little people who must be controlled rather than led. Too many teens learn from their peer group of individuals with no life experience. Even churches get caught up in age-group isolation where children get peeled away from their parents, and sometimes we are guilty of just entertaining them and distracting them until “big church” is over.
While psychology and philosophy have attempted to create a perfect system for developing children, we have wandered away from God’s original design: a family. God ordained for a man and a woman to portray His image in a home by their maturity and love toward their children through mentorship and daily instruction. God ordained parents and grandparents to influence and teach wisdom to developing youths. Ninety percent of institutionalized children leave the church when they reach young adulthood. How many could be salvaged if we let the little ones be a part of family worship?
Even some church conferences and conventions do not allow children to enter. “Adults only” does not sound like a Jesus thing. Will the church of the future start to check ID at the door to prevent anyone under 21 from entering? What could be wrong with children learning to worship God with their family? I have fond childhood memories of praying together with my parents in church. I can remember us up at the altar as a whole family, weeping and re-consecrating our lives to the Lord. Sure babies might distract occasionally, but even an infant can sense the presence of God—while in the womb, John the Baptist responded to his mother’s joy.
The sixth chapter of Deuteronomy gives us the foundation of our faith and tells us how to preserve it: by parents and children speaking together about the things of God. There can be no greater way to raise God-loving kids than to let them grow up seeing their daddy worship and weep in church. They should hear their mother pray and see grandpa share his testimony.
Honor God, allow the children.

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  • Amy Noel says:

    Hi Daniel, I thank you for this article and agree completely. I have 3 little girls ages 4, 2, and 9 weeks. Since the birth of my 4 year old we have felt that we want our children to worship with us and not be taken into the nursery or children’s class. We’re on our third church now and still do not feel welcome to allow our kids to stay with us. When I was pregnant with my first baby I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks. That night I went to a Bible study and was singing “How Great is Our God” with all my heart as I thought of the life he was creating within me. After she was born I sang out to him with her in my arms the same song in church. One day I got a tap on my shoulder during this song by an elder who asked, “Excuse me ma’am. Do you know we have a nursery? Want me to show you where it is?” I had attended this church for going on 4 years. I was aware there was a nursery. This was my gift from heaven and I was lifting her up in total awe and thankfulness to the Lord. I am now involved with another church and they have a great kids ministry or at least it appears to be. But I am still wanting my girls to worship with us and it really isn’t allowed in so many words. No one else has their children and I feel daggers every time I let them come into worship. Especially when my little girls loved to twirl around to the praise music. I cannot tell you how much joy that brought to me. But the church only sees it as distracting and appalling. Do you think we should keep worshiping with our girls in this church no matter what or do you think we should leave? I have mixed thoughts on it. Seeking wise counsel of others who understand the situation. Where I live, it oftentimes feels as if NO ONE understands the way I feel and my convictions on this issue. Thank you!!

    • danieljkoren says:

      I would not leave a church except for doctrinal reasons. While I feel it is wrong to take kids away from their parents during worship, I think it is worse to live in rebellion. The trouble with rebellion is that even when you are right, you are wrong. The spirit of “I will have it my way no matter what” does not please God, and it is why Israel has such a tattered existence today.
      On the other hand, I completely understand the tensions in your heart. If you could visit with the pastor or church elders and let them know your feelings, you might be pleasantly surprised. They may just think this is a passing fancy and let it slide. They may ask you to leave if that is how you feel. Even if it went that badly, you would be leaving with permission and doing things above board.
      Perhaps you could influence your leadership to begin including children in worship. Ask them to watch and then discuss it with them.

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