At Boise Friends, Family Worship means including and involving our children in the whole worship experience, sermon and all, from birth to teens, providing nursery for the especially wiggly toddler years. We facilitate this experience because we believe that our children are a part of our faith community today, and we are convinced that God delights in our little ones’ worship.
We believe it is our privilege and responsibility to teach our children how to worship.
We understand that there will be disturbances that occur; it is a learning process for the children after all. However, we remember that we come before the Lord first and foremost and do not forgo our responsibility to teach our children how to worship just because others may be witness to that learning process.
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
What does Family Worship look like at Boise Friends Church?
Sit with their families.
Participate in the singing.
Are learning to differentiate between staying quiet vs worshiping.
Are learning to contribute to the worship elements that happen every Sunday (prayer, giving, open worship, etc.)
Engage a sermon activity (A children’s song, children’s story, packet coloring, and activity pages that relate to the weekly sermon all work together to connect each child to the message.)
Develop in children a love for being the church together.
Teach the blessing and privilege it is to worship God together.
Provide a place where they come to know themselves most fully in the light of God’s glory and grace.
Kids are so aware of expectation and how they are viewed. BFC Family Worship is not a tolerance of children in the sanctuary, but rather an acknowledgement and expectation that they too come before our Lord to worship, and in so doing contribute to a fuller worship experience for everyone.
What we have learned so far
A little noise does not ruin God’s experience of our worship.
The importance of remembering that we bring our families before God in worship, not before others. We hold the opportunity and responsibility of teaching our children what it means to worship God as something sacred, something that we do not wish to take away from parents. In fact, it is something that we would like to support as a faith community.
Knowing that teaching our children how to worship is a great privilege and a great joy, we also recognize that just like parenting, it will be challenging at times. You love a lot, you laugh a lot, you get proud, you get frustrated, you feel you’ve failed, you try again, and then one day your child is grown and you pray God’s grace has permeated your child’s experiences. Pew parenting and everyday parenting are going to have a lot in common.
Support and patience go a long way.