We are camped about 15kms from Ephesus, Turkey. So this morning, being Sunday, we passed the Bible around the family and each of us read a chapter of Ephesians.
What stuck out to me was when Paul addresses the children directly:
"Children, obey your parents." 6:1
This letter would have been read out to family groups - fathers, mothers, children all sitting together, like we were this morning. Paul did not say "Parents, when you go home, tell your children to obey you". The children were there. Church had not become a boring meeting designed for parents and no longer endurable by children.
I wonder how many church services today are geared for the whole family and how many have slipped into the assumption that church is a boring meeting for older people, a meeting that children could not possibly sit through without leaving right before the message for a more child-friendly experience.
Its been encouraging to see children integrated into family-oriented church events, and more than just having a children's talk in the middle. We have see art supplies, paints, toys, areas for kids to play around and be kids during the service without being told to sit still or shut up. Sometimes the kids even get to respond to the message.
Kids are kids. Their involvement is vital. Lets learn to make space for them.
- Kids in church and the dumb things they say - like the 3 year old who prayed
"Our Father, Who does art in heaven, Harold is His name. Amen."