Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Children-less Message

Is this a kid's reaction to children's messages?
"You all may be seated and we ask that the children come forward for the children's message."  The children's message has been something that I have been debating in my head since my undergrad days when I was studying youth ministry.  I have heard so many pros about why we should allow children to be up front comfortable in their church.  I have also heard the cons with accusations that the children's message is no more than a Christian version of "Kids Say the Darnedest Things."  At the end of the day, as an intern you really do not have a say in whether they happen or not at your church and; but it is so that at my church they are expected.  So I printed up some children's bulletins off Sundays and Seasons, I went and got some props that I thought would really help explain the Gospel, and I waited for my time to come on Sunday morning.  Then the time finally came, and I rose and said that magical phrase. But NOTHING.  No noise and then a slight giggle as I was left childless for my first children's sermon.  I went to go sit down and then i heard a murmur and looked to see a new acquaintance, Travis coming forward.  "Oh no this is going to happen," I worriedly thought.  The trick of the situation is that Travis is 27, just a year younger than myself.  So there I was sitting face to face with Travis doing a children's message for the congregation.  Travis who recently spent a chunk of the last year living in a monastery in Ireland was a much better listener, and his answers were on par with seminary.  It was more humorous that educational, as there were youth younger than him looking on from the comfort of their pew.
When did we put a restriction on coming forward for the children's messages?  Who started to say you're too old for the children's message?  I seemed to look so many different junior high youth in the face and get no response.  Not willing to go up for a children's message, unwilling to participate in a sermon?  As I anticipate that next week  we will have some youth that will come up, I still find myself asking about the inclusive and effective nature of children's messages.  Are they effective or tradition marching on without question.  Are kids waiting and bargaining a day that they don't have to walk up, pleading with parents not this time please.  It looked like it on Sunday, but I appreciate the humor of two guys in their 20's just sitting on the floor claiming themselves as children in the name of the Gospel.


  1. Experiential relativity applies to our lives and the gospel. Kinesthetic learning incorporates the world around us as part of the gospel. The gospel is alive and why should we limit learning to merely listening or singing. I think there is great merit to engaging the heart and mind through the senses. Children become part of the Gospel as they interact with the community contributing their thoughts and presence. It is a blessing to have childlike faith and be an adult that can play in the house of God.

  2. LOVED this!! Maybe the next time I do my childrens message and we have no one up there I can use your mentality of no age requirements to be "CHILDREN OF GOD" :D