"If you think of church as a family rather than a weekly religious event, you begin to see differently the whole idea of what it should be. Children don't interrupt family because children are family." Neil Cole

Posted by Page Phelps | | Posted On Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Today I read an article called All in the Family, The case for integrating children into church worship services by Neil Cole. The quote that really sparked my interest was "If you think of church as a family rather than a weekly religious event, you begin to see differently the whole idea of what it should be. Children don't interrupt family because children are family," Neil Cole. It leads me to ask then, why is it that today in the traditional church do we segregate by age and by married/single/divorced, etc.? His arguments for integrating children were wonderful. I liked this quote from the article, "We know children are especially important to God. When He chose to place their nurture and development into the care of an institution, He didn't choose a school but a family. Unfortunately, the church has followed society's lead in giving the spiritual development of our children over to the Sunday school teacher. Unlike the church in the New Testament which uses the idea of family as the essence of what it was to be and do, church has become a weekly religious even rather than a spiritual family on a mission together." (Now, not all churches are a religious event.......but I do really like the idea of a spiritual family on mission together and taking charge of my responsibility as a parent. This article is found in the March/April Ministry Today magazine and online it is ministrytoday.com.

A couple other interesting quotes from Neil Cole's article:"The reason that kids aren't an interruption for us is simple: There's nothing to interrupt! Our time of learning and discussing God's Word isn't a monologue by a gifted teacher that demands silence and respect. Instead, it's a community time that involves the entire family, including the children, so there is no such thing as interrupting it."

"The reason why many of resist having small children in our church meetings is that we believe that the experience could be disruptive. We've been trained to think that what goes on during a worship service is sacred and holy and not to be upset by loud children." My quote on this, "Our God is bigger than any 'disruption' and He can move through it or use it."

One thing that I have desired for a long time is to have a family role model......since I did not grow up really in the church.......how do I raise my children to love God? How do I parent in a godly way? Neil Cole's quote from the article, "For the most part, the church isn't helping with the situation. We may have programs, seminars and books to help teach about parenting, but we aren't getting good examples in church. How could we when we send the kids off to classes with other kids their age, while parents go to another class? We aren't in situations where a new parent can actually watch a seasoned vet respond to his/her children and teach by example." Oh.......mentoring!!!

Another interesting quote and articles that I found on-line is:

"We, as parents, need to take back our right to be our children's spiritual directors. We owe it to our children."

http://www.cmaresources.org/article/jesus-and-the-kids

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