What Do We Teach Children about Worship?

June 23, 2009

praying-with-childI just returned from a Children’s Spirituality Conference that talked a lot about children in worship.  Then I was in worship this past Sunday and we sang a David Crowder song, “We Won’t Be Quiet”.  Here are the lyrics that struck me:

You’re everything we could ever want

You’re everything we could ever need

You’re the reason we’re coming here

You’re the reason we’re gonna sing

I was reminded in the song of the real reason of worship, to praise God.  I was also reminded of our purpose for being there, to worship God.  Suddenly my mind went right to the Westminster Larger Catechism which says, “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and to enjoy God forever.”  This is a wonderful summary of the teaching of Scripture on this matter (Isa. 43:7; Eph. 1:11-12).  We humans have been created by God to first and foremost glorify God.

So how well do we pass this on to our children?  When our children and youth hear us complain about style, methodology, space and sermon do they sense that we are living out our purpose to glorify God?  Or are we teaching them that worship is something for us to consume and evaluate?  Do we teach them the purpose of  worship is to please and satisfy us?  Should we not teach our children that we gather in worship because God is our everything and is everything we need?

I am reminded of two theologians I know, Robbie Castleman and Marva Dawn who both say, “when we are tempted to criticize worship, someone should remind us, we were not worshiping you.”

So what are we teaching our children about worship,  that it is for us or for God?

If you would like more information on teaching children about worship take a look at this resource Worship for Life .

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God is important but…

June 5, 2009

time-with-godI went with my daughter to the high school baccalaureate service because her best friend is graduating.  In comparison to the graduating class, very few people attended this optional service. However, there was a family sitting directly behind us with a graduating senior. It was almost time for the service to start when the lady behind us says, in a loud voice, “I hope they get this thing going, I know God is important but…. there is a game on tonight.”

I sat there amazed.  My daughter and I just looked at each, not knowing what to say.  I immediately thought, “You don’t have to be here so why are you?”  The comment stuck with me and I continued to ponder it for the rest of the night.  It would be easy to condemn or criticize this woman but I wonder in reality how many of us actually send this message without saying it.

God is important but…

I’m on vacation

I’ve got too much work to do

I’ve got a game

We’ve got a dance competition

We’ve got a recital

We just don’t have enough time

I’ve got to think about my family first

The list can go on and on and on.  However, the message is still the same.  In reality we are saying that God is not as important as what follows in the rest of that statement.  Perhaps that is one reason I like our primary core value here at The LOGOS Ministry:

We affirm that a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ is more important than anything else in life.

Like everyone I struggle to live this out daily but at least this value keeps reminding me of who God wants me to be.  A great reminder that each and every day I need my life to reflect that truth.

God is MOST important…….no buts about it.