Philosophy of Children
Parents and children ordinarily attend Worship service together at FBGG. There is Sunday school for children at our Sunday school service (9AM) ; And nursery care for ages 0-4 years for both services; these do not conflict with the worship service (10:30). Family integrated churches emphasize inter-generational ministry and the “parents’ responsibility to evangelize and disciple their own children.
As parents we all desire to see our children learn and understand the Gospel. We understand that God has entrusted these little ones to us for education and training but when is the right time to bring them into the main worship service and how should it be done?
In Nehemiah 8 Ezra the priest is about to read and explain God’s word to the people of God in verse two we are told “….Ezra the priest brought the law before the assembly of men women and all could listen with understanding…” Although there have been recent debates on when a child is able to “listen with understanding” All can agree that it comes with practice patience and teaching
Historically the church is always viewed preaching as a means of grace to which children should be exposed at the earliest possible age.
Look at the ministry that is described in Titus 2. Older men are disciplining younger men. Older Woman are disciplining younger women, by itself this might seem like a knock against integrated worship, but this all happens in the context of eldership and leadership and discipline described in the other epistles, thus these things can only all happen rightly together if the body is together worshiping and hearing the same sermons as one another. There is no reason to deduce that this elder led correction was not married to listening to the sermon together.
Look at Ephesians 6:1, where Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”
Since Ephesians was written as a circular letter to the church in Ephesus and to all the churches in Asia Minor, and was meant to be read aloud during the Sunday worship service. Paul is communicating “This word is to encourage the children out there who are sitting next to their Dads and Moms and are part of the gathering of God’s people.” It would never have occurred to Paul that the children would be segregated into junior church. There simply is no evidence from Scripture that would support the idea that children learn best the experience of worship or knowledge of God when they are separated from their parents. Very early in life children are able to sit and watch television by preschool and kindergarten they’re able to sit in class with other children and learn from their teacher none of this is unlike training to be part of a Sunday worship service we know that you and children might not be able to articulate every aspect of the sermon, but they will be learning eternal truths during this important time of training. It is our desire to create an environment that will help you develop your child’s ability to listen with understanding. Therefore, we’ve taken much care in structuring our church and nursery with the goal of bringing children into the main service at the earliest possible age.
Newborns – six months old – The quiet room
we realized that infants at this tender age are highly in need of their parents. The quiet room is still part of the main congregation, but allows privacy for feeding and tending to the needs of infants while minimizing disturbances for the rest of the congregation.
Nursery – 6 months – preschool
as children grow developmentally, there needs change. Young infants start crawl and walk, and their need to be mobile increases. There still too young to sit for sustained periods of time. For this age we have a nursery, provided with a trained, caring staff to attend to the needs of young children.
Kindergarten and older – Quiet room/Congregation
As children get ready for school; they should be developmentally able to sit for longer periods of time. During this training, we requested parents utilized a quiet room to sit with entering their children how to listen to a worship service. For example, children may sit and draw pictures of the sermon, the directed by their parent to follow along in the Bible, alright down something they have learned. At the parents discretion they may graduate their child to the main sanctuary.
Age-segregation has had some very negative effects on the church with nearly two thirds of all adults walking away from its institution claiming they had mentally “walked away” years earlier. It’s good to remember that Jesus had children around him when he preached. This was quite normal for the vast majority of church history.
Reaping the benefits
As a church family, we realize this can be difficult time for parents. We are convinced however, that is pleasing to the Lord, and though difficult now – may reap significant spiritual benefits in the life of your child as well as for the cause of Christ.
“Children that are taught reverence for God when they are yet to young to understand the plan of redemption will more readily except Christ when they are old enough to understand what it is all about. One of the great secrets to making this kind of an early response is to have developed in childhood a deep and abiding reverence for God. These parents will prepare their children for acceptance of salvation and dedication of life by teaching him how to attain such reverence early on” – From momof9splace.com