Apr 24, 2009

Do you have Children's Church?

Christ Lutheran Vail does not provide Children's Church for a variety of reasons.


First, one of our core values is  “Intergenerational Collaboration".   This means that we intentionally find ways for various age groups to interact.   This includes worship.


Second, children grow spiritually by watching their parents.   If parents do not model this for their children they are missing out on one of the greatest roles in which God has placed them.   A family worshiping together provides this opportunity for children.


Third, today's families have difficulty finding time to be together.   For many families, Sunday morning is the only time where all the members don't have other commitments.   Children are only young once and the opportunity for families to worship together exists only for a short period of time.   We do not believe the church should split apart families during the most precious time in life.


Because we encourage families to worship together, we have crafted our normal worship time together to be very children-friendly.


There is a  Children's Message ‚¬  during each worship service.   At this message, Pastor Hook takes the lesson for the day and brings it to a level that children can understand.   The children are then given something at the end of the lesson.   (Pastor Hook's favorite is chocolate).


We use parts of the liturgy.   The liturgy was developed at a time when most people could not read.   In order to bring a corporate aspect to worship, Psalms, songs and prayers were memorized.   We find that children of a very young age can memorize these portions of the service allowing them to participate from a very early age.


The sermons are shorter in length.   We do recognize that having children in worship affects the content and the length of what can be said during the sermon.   However, research shows that the retention of a sermon is not a function of the sermon length.   In fact, some of the greatest and most memorable speeches of all time were not lengthy. (Note Martin Luther King's “I have a Dream"  or Reagan's  “The Boys of Point-Du-Hoc").   It should be noted, however, our sermons are expository, i.e. based on a Biblical Texts.


Some people desire longer line-by-line expository treatments of the text.   There are many fine resources for this type of study.   We encourage people of all ages to find these resources and use them or perhaps start a small-group Bible study.


We do recognize the difficulty children can present particularly for young children.   The most difficult time is the toddler years.   We do have a nursery available for these children. However, we find that after the toddler years, because of the way we conduct Sunday morning worship, children are quite happy to be in our worship service.



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