Friday, February 29, 2008

Worship: Adults Only?

I will admit that youth ministry is not my strongsuit, but something that has always bothered me is churches that have Sunday School during worship service. I don't get that.

I was chatting with some other church professionals and guy who works with youth at a local church was upset that Sunday School took place during worship. He commented that the youth are in classes from babies to high school. He then said it was no wonder that the youth don't go to church after high school since they were never included in the first place.

I don't know what possesses people to think that placing kids in Sunday School, while the grown-up worship is a good idea. Since when did worship become "Adults-Only?" We might as well put up beaded doors like the ones we see at those Adult bookstores.

The thing is, worship should be for everyone. Kids should be able to participate in worship. I know, sometimes kids talk in worship or they look bored, but I'm beginning to think they are aware of what's going on. If we exclude them from worship, the message they recieve is that this isn't something that's worth doing.

I know that adults are probably not doing this out of some ill will. It's probably a tradition going way back. But just because it was done in 1958 means it has to be done in 2008.

If I ever am asked to lead a church with such a setup, that is one sacred cow that's going to become a juicy hamburger.

1 comment:

Danny said...

I guess this is one issue that I see both sides of. And I think part of it depends on the age of the children. My boys are 6 and 10, and both have a hard time sitting through a sermon. The church we are currently attending (FCC North Hollywood) does Sunday School during the morning worship. It is a high quality program, and my kids not only enjoy it, but get a lot out of it.

Occasionally, the older classes (which include my 10 year-old) will sit together in the balcony for the whole service. And I know that if they wanted to stay for the whole service on a regular basis, they'd be welcome to. Also, all kids are in worship for the opening hymns, prayer, & children's moment, then are invited to leave for Sunday School.

I do understand what you are saying, though. I feel the same way about churches that have a contemporary service, and a traditional service. One typically draws older generations, the other, younger. I think we miss something by not having the generations together. How do you feel about that?