At Christ’s Church we don’t believe children are the future of the Church; we believe they are the Church right now. Because of this we encourage whole families to worship together in the service so that they can grow as disciples of Jesus together. As children grow there are more and more opportunities for them to participate in the life of the Church.
Parenting is a divine calling, one that none of us takes lightly, but let’s be real for a minute: it’s hard. The sleepless nights, homework, mountains of laundry, running them from school to practice to the doctor and back, trying to remember if this is the week that little Johnny is avoiding all orange foods or if this week he hates everything red. So, how do we handle all the craziness that life brings us? We lean on our heavenly Father who gives us peace beyond all understanding. We bury ourselves in his word and bask in his glory. And don’t we want the same for our kids? For them to know the joy of the Lord?
The Bible instructs us to share our faith with our children, but what is the best way to do that? We believe that the best way to do that is to worship together as a family both in church and at home. Sitting together, singing together, reading together, praying together, and growing together as a family. Sharing our faith with our kids is the most important thing we can do for them, and at Christ’s Church we celebrate families, because we are one. We are a family of believers who lift each other up, pray for one another, take care of one another. And as a church we want to come alongside families and help them disciple their children. To learn more about how we do that watch the video and read below for details.
Liturgy of the Home
In Deuteronomy 4 Moses encourages parents to pass their faith on to their children. We want to do the same by empowering, encouraging, and equipping parents to disciple their children in their homes. Between changing diapers, taking kids to soccer practice, making meals, doing laundry, working, and everything else, being a parent is really hard work. Even though our lives as parents are difficult, we want to make sure all our parents are able to disciple their children.
We encourage parents to meet once a month with a discipleship mentor. The first step is to help parents identify the best moments in their week for parents to pray, worship, and learn together as a family. Mentors will help parents set goals for what they want these discipleship moments to look like and provide content for parents to use. We recommend four different content options for families to choose from: The Daily Office, Orange, Let Us Keep the Feast, and Teach Us to Pray: Scripture Based Family Worship Through the Year. We also provide families copies of a New International Reader's Version Bible for their children to use at home.
Full Participation in Worship
God calls the entire body of Christ to worship and adore him, and that includes even the smallest disciples of Jesus! There are so many exciting ways that we believe children can participate more fully in the life of the church. With the children’s moment during the service we will bring to life the Scriptures we’re learning about in a way that is developmentally appropriate so that the whole family can engage with God’s word and study it together. We will also provide activities so that your kids are able to follow along with the sermon. During the last song of the service we’ll regularly hand out percussion instruments so that kids can join in as we praise God together. We also invite children as they grow older to participate directly in the service by volunteering as acolytes, readers, ushers, crucifers, gospelers, thurifers, and more.
Even though parents are the primary disciple-makers of their children, we can’t do this important calling alone. We want parents and their children to be able to build relationships with other families through worship and service together. At Christ’s Church we encourage parents to look to their children’s godparents as well as other parishioners in the church to not only encourage their children in the faith, but support them by attending games, recitals, and other important events in each child’s life. We also want parents to be able to turn to other parents and grandparents in the parish for help and support as they raise their children.
Family Friendly Events
We want to use feast days as an opportunity for families to gather together. Whether it be dressing up as your favorite saint for All Saints’ Day or celebrating Shrove Tuesday with pancakes and games, we want families to be able to have fun and remember all that God has done in and through his people together. We hope these events will also serve as a means for parents to invite other families to celebrate with us.