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Kids in Church  

How welcome are children in your church?

The question is not rhetorical.  I am asking you to think carefully. Why shouldn’t we?  We bemoan the sense of disconnect today’s emerging generation feels toward the church, and the many ways they are unplugging.   Yet I wonder if in some ways we haven’t invited them to leave.

"You don't belong!"

“Preposterous!” you say.  “We have many wonderful programs for kids at our church—and they are well attended!”  Maybe you do have a lot of well attended classes and events.  Yet if young kids rarely or never take part in the main event—your Sunday morning worship service—is it possible we are telling them “You kids belong in your special little area…but you really don’t have much to contribute to us adults”? 

Draw a pie chart of last Sunday’s church service, if you dare.  How big a piece of the pie did children get in the actual church service?  Did even one of them play a music solo?  Did an artistic junior high girl read the Scripture passage?   Was the high schooler boy who loves to do stage plays asked to interpret a gospel parable that was mentioned in the sermon?  Why do we seem to hear from the littlest children only at Christmas?    What’s up with that?

Why not?

I ask…

  • Why shouldn’t a sixth grader read Scripture from the stage?
  • Why shouldn’t a junior high kid play a piano solo as people are being seated…or during the offering time?
  • Why shouldn’t the high school youth group—with appropriate guidance—lead the entire morning worship for a given Sunday—music, announcements, sermon and all?!

The answer is….there is no answer. There’s no reason why these things should not be, other than the fact that we have not created church cultures that embrace this kind of thing. 

Too "Professional?"

I’m not talking about tokenism here.   I’m talking about real kids filling real functions in a real service…week after week.

Are we so committed to “professionalism” or a sense of control that we cannot or will not be led by a child? 

Children belong in church.  Not just in their seats—but up on the stage. Leading us!


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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016