Where Should Children Be During The Service?

...but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” 

-Matthew 19:14
 ...So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could understand what they heard...

-Nehemiah 8:2

The example of Nehemiah shows us that any child who is old enough to understand something read to them should be in the assembly of Gods people. Likewise, there is clearly room for younger children to be elsewhere at such a time. For this reason we allow children 4 and under to attend nursery, although we strongly encourage all parents to have their children attend the service at any age.

This is ancient pattern seems out of place for many parents and congregations in our day. However, a little training goes a long way. The children get trained to be in the service. The parents get trained to be in the service with their children present. And the congregation gets trained to bear with one another and to love each other in a new way. We have seen that our people rejoice at the presence of little ones in the assembly.

What About Youth Groups?

The concept of the youth group cannot be found in scripture. It’s origins lie in the church growth movement of the last century. What can be found in scripture is the clear pattern of the younger learning from the older. This is how men and women grow in wisdom. This is how young men and women are equipped to one day be husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers. When we separate based upon personal affinities we separate ourselves from God’s good plan for His church.