why we love having kids in our church service

I grew up in church, and my family attended the same church my whole childhood.
My parents were married there, and so were Adam and I ~ 16 years ago!
And to this day, my parents still attend that same church.
My brother and I always sat in the service with our parents.
We also went to Sunday school, in between the early and late services.
But during the main service, kids were always by the side, in the lap or at the feet, of their parents.

I can remember many times during church I would fall asleep in my moms lap, because I love sleep.
But on some Sunday’s, I was paying attention…
One Sunday while the preacher was talking about Jesus dying on the cross, I blurted out “Mommy! why didn’t you tell me Jesus died?!”

There was a rumble of laughter in response to my innocent 4 year old question.
There was an acknowledgement that I was listening and hearing what the Preacher was saying.
And there was a sense of pride from my parents knowing I was learning and understanding, in my 4 year old ability, all about Jesus.

A few years later, I am sitting in the same church with my parents, and listening to my mom sing the Doxology, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…”
We sang it every Sunday, but this day was different…
As I was listening to my mom sing, I realized – she really believes what she’s singing.
She really loves God.
Her worship was a testimony to me.
And I wanted the same personal relationship with Him.

I wanted to know God for myself, not just because we went to church every Sunday…
not just because my parents loved God, or my friends loved God, or for anything other reason.
I wanted a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

To live your life recklessly abandoned to Jesus as your Lord, Savior, Shepherd and King ~ this is no easy task. 
We want this personal relationship with Jesus for our own kids, and for all kids everywhere… 
And this is why we love having kids in our church service. Yes, even the crying ones. the fidgety ones. the nose picking ones. the distracted ones. the shy ones. the diapered ones. and the hyper ones.

Our kids have been sitting with us in church for a while now… and while this can be slightly difficult being the Pastor and Worship Leader, I wouldn’t have it any other way… except on the days when our 3 year old is throwing a huge fit, and flailing herself on the floor, in front of the sanctuary, seconds before the church service is about to start, and I’m about to jump on the stage to lead worship after yelling at her to pull herself together thru my gritting teeth because church is about to start for heaven’s sakes!!! 

On those days, I desperately wish she would go into Children’s Ministry.

We value our kids being in church with us. We offer a wonderful children’s ministry program at our church, and most of the kids go to their respective classes during the service. For a while now, we’ve had the first thru fourth grades stay in worship with us, before going to class for their Bible lesson.

Sometimes after worship, we have a testimony time called God Sightings. This morning, we were absolutely amazed that our 9 year old, Soleil, stood up in front of the church and gave a God sighting. Most people who know Soleil know she is pretty shy, and you have to be a pretty special in order for her to talk to you. She doesn’t give most people the time of day.

This morning, she shared in front of everyone, on the microphone, her testimony ~ she loves to read, and for a while her favorite book series has been Dork Diaries. She shared how a few weeks ago, she realized something ~ although it’s a funny and engaging book series, it has no value. There’s only one book that has true value. The Bible.

Whoa. I couldn’t believe our shy daughter was actually talking on the microphone sharing her heart, with the entire church! 
Slap me silly, I was in shock. And so was Adam, even as he was holding the microphone for her, he couldn’t believe it. 
Soleil had shared that story with us just a few weeks ago. I held it close to my heart, so proud of her understanding of true value. I didn’t share it on Facebook, or tell any friends…, because as Soleil grows older I am learning ~ she needs to tell her own stories. She is finding her voice and will speak it. She is seeking and understanding Truth. And she is growing in her own relationship with Jesus.

Jesus says to come unto Him as a Child… {He-llo. Matthew 18. C’mon somebody, let’s read our Bibles.}

and ya know why?! because sometimes, adults suck at having faith, trusting God and living out the Gospel… but children. Children speak the truth with no filter, and they know how to live their lives with reckless abandon. Adults, let’s step it up and help teach them and guide them… to give their trust and faith to the One who will Love them more than any other person, place or thing in this world ~ Jesus. 
And adults, let’s learn from our kids. Their lives have such value and they know true value, probably better than we do. 

We could not be more proud of Soleil… and all the kids in our church. And this is why we love having kids in our church service! 

Have kids impacted your view of God and His Kingdom? Please share!

In Him, Leslie

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