Should Parents and Their Children Attend Church Service Together? John Piper, J. D. Greear Answer

(PHOTO: BRIAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY/GEORGI BARKER) The Anglican congregation of The Falls Church of Virginia worships for the last time at their church property on May 13, 2012. Having lost a suit against the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, they will be moving their congregation to a different location.
(PHOTO: BRIAR CREEK PHOTOGRAPHY/GEORGI BARKER)
The Anglican congregation of The Falls Church of Virginia worships for the last time at their church property on May 13, 2012. Having lost a suit against the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, they will be moving their congregation to a different location.

John Piper believes it is essential that families worship together on Sunday in church instead of a separate children’s service, while other pastors, including J.D. Greear, agree in part.

Reviving a long-held debate on how to do church, pastor and theologian John Piper argues in a desiringGod article that something powerful is transmitted when children behold their parents worshiping the Lord. So important is this, Piper says, that he and his wife wrote a lengthy letter to their church more than 20 years ago outlining why they should not have children’s church or a mini-sermon for children at all, arguing that parents should start bringing their kids to service around the age of 4.

Just as children do not understand language when they are young, parents nevertheless immerse them in it hoping that they will grow up into joyful use of it, Piper contends. How much more important, then, is immersion in an atmosphere where kids see their parents encountering the glory of God in prayer and worship each Sunday, he poses.

“You can’t impart what you don’t possess. And this is what you want your children to catch. You want them to catch authentic worship. Authentic, heartfelt worship is the most valuable thing in human experience. Think of it. The cumulative effect of 650 worship services spent with mom and dad in authentic communion with God and his people between the ages of 4 and 17 is utterly incalculable,” Piper argues.

Some pastors also support Piper’s view but with some exceptions.

“We think it is important for families to worship together, and would hate the idea that a child at The Summit Church grows up and goes off to college and has never participated in an adult worship service,” said J.D. Greear, pastor of Summit Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, in an interview Tuesday with CP. He added that “[a]t the same time, we realize that there are certain things kids and students can learn best if the content is tailored specifically for them.”

“We leave it up to the parent’s judgment when it is appropriate to bring their child into the worship service. For me, I begin to bring my kids into the service at age 8,” he said.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Brandon Showalter