Each weekend, families come through the the double doors at Flagstaff High School and often split off to their Sunday service homes: Kiddos head to Redemption Kids, 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 hopefully engages individual hearts and minds. We do it for the same reason there is a kids menus at Lumberyard. Most of our little ones (not all) don’t need a rack of baby back ribs and would honestly prefer a smaller portion of chicken fingers or mac and cheese. 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.
However, there can be some inherent problems with only engaging this approach throughout our children’s development. 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 can hear different messages. This makes taking the conversation from church to home a challenge, and teaching opportunities are lost.
With this tension in mind, intermittently we have Family Worship Services. These weekends, we encourage families with children of all ages to worship together in service, and all Redemption Kids classes will be shut down for the day.
It’s going to feel a lot like Thanksgiving dinner with slightly less turkey and football. Thanksgiving doesn’t look like a date night at Brix or an afternoon at Peter Pipers. And it shouldn’t. It will be a time for families to celebrate together and participate in worship and sacraments 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.
- 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. We understand not everything written will be helpful for you and your family so take what you like and leave the rest.
- There will be a kids activity available as you come in similar to the content our kids receive every Sunday in Redemption Kids. Kids can choose to engage with it during service or together with their parent(s) at home during the week.
- Service will be a bit shorter than usual.
By the Lord’s grace, our Family Worship Service will be a sweet time for families to worship together and will open the door to deeper conversations.