WHY WE DON'T HAVE A CHILDREN'S PROGRAM
There are several reasons that we include children in our services, some more important than others.
Here are a few of those reasons that we consider to be the most important
Perhaps the most significant reason that we want children in the service is because God saves children and unites them with his Son Jesus Christ. If a child is saved, we don't want to refuse them the ability to worship with God's people. If a preschooler has come to trust in Jesus and is therefore part of Jesus' church, sending them out to a different location is sending them out of the body of believers. When a child goes to a different location and hears a different lesson from a different leader surrounded by different people, they quickly realize that they are at a different church. There has now been created two churches. The first church made up of adults, a majority of whom belong to Jesus, and a different church made up of children, frequently not belonging to Jesus. We believe that each local body of believers is ONE local body of believers and not several church bodies that happen to meet in different rooms of the same building at the same time.
Another reason that we like to have children in the service is because we believe that children model themselves after those that they hang around. Pastor John Piper communicates this wonderfully when he says:
"Parents have the responsibility to teach their children by their own example the meaning and value of worship. Therefore, parents should want their children with them in worship so the children can catch the spirit and form of their parents' worship.Children should see how Mom and Dad bow their heads in earnest prayer during the prelude and other non-directed times. They should see how Mom and Dad sing praise to God with joy in their faces, and how they listen hungrily to His Word. They should catch the spirit of their parents meeting the living God.Something seems wrong when parents want to take their children in the formative years and put them with other children and other adults to form their attitude and behavior in worship. Parents should be jealous to model for their children the tremendous value they put on reverence in the presence of Almighty God."
In short, if your child is around only children,they will model themselves after those they sees. If your children are with you while you worship during their formative years, they will be more inclined and better trained to consider the significance of spiritual things, as long as they see you actively doing the same.
A final reason that we want children to be part of the worship experience is because many children are not saved, and those who are not saved should be in church, hearing the preaching of the word, seeing the reality of the gospel as they witness lives being lived out in the light of the gospel of God. Children learn very well. They pick up on things that most adults miss, and they remember things very easily. When a child is in the worship service,they are hearing, seeing, witnessing, singing and learning the gospel. John Piper once again gives tremendous insight when he says:
"Even if most of the sermon goes over their heads, experience shows that children hear and remember remarkable things.The content of the prayers and songs and sermon gives parents unparalleled opportunities to teach their children the great truths of our faith. If parents would only learn to query their children after the service and then explain things, the children's capacity to participate would soar. Not everything children experience has to be put on their level in order to do them good. Some things must be. But not everything."
In addition to this, Jesus himself said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus' own disciples thought that Jesus' teaching was not suitable for children but Jesus rebuked them and showed that children ought to be welcome with Him. The embodiment of Christ on the earth is his body, the church. Let the little children come unto him.