Each weekend, families come through the church doors and head off to their different areas of ministry: Preschoolers go to Little Village, elementary-aged kids to Kids’ Village and middle schoolers to Crash, while their parents attend worship services with other adults.
There is a lot to be said for doing things this way. Everyone is taught and ministered to in a manner that more accurately engages individual hearts and minds according to where each person is developmentally.
We do it for the same reason there is a kids menus at Chili’s. Most second graders just don’t need a rack of baby back ribs and would honestly prefer a smaller portion of chicken fingers. And sometimes they just need to sit at the “kids’ table.”
Dividing families up helps kids and adults receive ministry in environments where they can best be ministered to.
There are some inherent problems with this approach, though.
When families are consistently broken up, they lose opportunities to worship together with the rest of the church family. Kids don’t get to watch their parents and other adults worship the Lord, and kids and parents hear different messages. This makes taking the conversation from church to home a challenge, and teaching opportunities are lost.
With this tension in mind, we will have Family Worship Services on the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6.
That weekend, we encourage families with children of all ages to worship together in service, and we will close down particular Next Gen ministries. Kids’ Village and Crash will not be offered in Flower Mound. Next Gen ministries will only be offered to children birth – age 4 in Denton and Dallas.
It’s going to feel a lot like Thanksgiving with slightly less turkey and football. Thanksgiving doesn’t look like a date night at Truluck’s or an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese’s. And it shouldn’t.
It will be a time for families to celebrate together and participate in traditions and rites that have been handed down for years. And like Thanksgiving, Family Worship Services will be oriented towards adults with the awareness that kids are in the room. In doing this, we hope to provide an environment where kids and adults will hear the same message, participate in the same activities and worship together.
Three additional notes:
- Nov. 6 is the end of Daylights Savings time. Set your schedule accordingly.
- If you would like some pointers on how to best leverage your child’s time in an adult worship service, check out Jen Wilkin’s blog post from last July.
- There will be sermon notes and crayons available as you come in. Be sure to pick them up if you think they will help your child engage.
By the Lord’s grace, our Family Worship Services will be a sweet time for families to worship together and will open the door to deeper conversations.