Bring the toddlers to the Word (Douglas Wilson)

Pastor Wilson speaks for those of us who think that “seeker sensitive” started in “children’s church” and ends in Ipod Church, where every person just downloads their own church service and plays it into their ear buds.

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Many years ago we made the decision to disband our children’s church and nursery, and go to a system of parents training their little ones to worship with us. We have cry room, and so on, but the intent is to have our children grow up into the worship of God. We have had many reasons to rejoice in that decision, and we don’t regret it at all.

At the same time, the point of this exhortation is to let you parents know that we know how much work you do, and to encourage you in it. It is good work, work that will bear fruit for many years, over many generations. It is sometimes easy to lose sight of the long view, especially if you have five children under the age of seven, and all of them are squirmy. It is easy to lose sight of that when you haven’t heard more than ten minutes of a sermon at a time in three years, and you wonder if you will ever be able to listen to a sermon again.

But the life of Christ is not best represented by listening to a lecture, undistracted by anything. The life of Christ is pulled in many directions, just like you are being, and you are willing for this to happen so that your children may come to worship the Lord. Laying it down for someone else this way is our glory. It is a sacrifice to bring them to the Word, to the psalms, to the wine and to the bread.

So don’t measure what you get out of these worship services with carnal balances. The weight of glory you are carrying is far beyond the weight of toddlers in your lap.

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