Practical Suggestions on the Attendance of Children in Public Worship [Jeremy Walker]

sleep baptist church kids childrenFrom the Banner of Truth article entitled Attendence of Children in Public Worship Services, Jeremy Walker writes,

The constant presumption of Scripture is that children were present in the worship of the people of God. In Nehemiah’s time, men and women and all those who could hear with understanding gathered to hear Ezra the scribe read the Law (Neh 8.1-3; Ezr 10.1). Moses certainly anticipated the literal ‘children’ of Israel to be present when the Law was read (Dt 31.12-13). Paul’s letters, intended to be read to the churches, assume the intelligent presence of children (Eph 6.1-4; Col 3.20), and children were present when the Lord Jesus taught (Mt 18.1-5; 19.13-15)…

 

With a view to a more careful adherence to the Biblical model, we therefore suggest that children of at least school age (although there need be no arbitrary distinction — some younger children might be well able to be present at an earlier age) should be present in the public meetings of the church…

 

The children should sit quietly and attentively, endeavouring — to the best of their ability — to participate reverently and intelligently in the various exercises of worship. To attain such a goal requires that parents be diligent and thorough in preparing their children for attendance at and participation in the public meetings. In order to help parents, and the church, accomplish their Biblical responsibility, we have prepared the following guidelines, which we hope will act as an aid to such preparation.

 

 

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

 

1] Conduct family worship daily…

 

2] Seek to order things in your home so that children have adequate rest…

 

3] Aim to arrive in good time…

 

4] Accomplish necessary tasks (such as getting a drink, or using the toilet) before the beginning of the service.

 

5] Assume that your child will sit through the entire service unless there is a particular reason for leaving….

 

6] Train your sons and daughters to be good listeners, sitting with good posture and focusing their eyes on the one leading the service or preaching…

 

7] Remember that leaving a public meeting (even for legitimate reasons) is a distraction, at least to those nearby, and that such a departure interrupts your worship of God…

 

8] If it is predictable that you will need to take your child out of a service to train or discipline him or her, aim to take seats near the doors of the meeting room, where you can get in and out with least distraction to others…

 

9] Encourage children to continue behaving well… after a public meeting…

 

10] Where possible, follow up the preaching and teaching with your children…

 

11] Remember the power, for good or evil, of your own example in preparing for and participating in the public meetings of the church.

Read the entire article [9 min. readout]

[HT: Scott T. Brown]

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