Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Children’s Church…

Children’s church is when all of the children 8 years and leave the sanctuary so they don’t distract the adults from listening to the sermon. Something I had to adjust to in Lutheran Church is children sit through the service. I’ve learned not to be distracted.

At first, I just thought, “Oh, this is how Lutherans do things,” and left it at that. But I was reading the short preface to Luther’s Large Catechism and found this (24-27):

Then we would have all together five whole parts of Christian doctrine. These should be taught constantly and be required learning for children. You should hear them recited word for word. For you must not rely on the idea that young people will learn and retain these things from the sermon alone. When these parts have been well learned you may supplement and strengthen them by also setting before them some psalms or hymns, which have been composed on these parts of the catechism. Lead the young into the Scriptures this way, and make progress in them daily.

However it is not enough for them to understand and recite these parts according to the words alone. The young people should also be made to attend the preaching, especially during the time that is devoted to the catechism. Then they may hear it explained and may learn to understand what every part contains, so that they can recite it the way they have heard it. Then, when asked, they may give a correct answer, so that preaching may not be useless and fruitless. For this reason we exercise such diligence in preaching the catechism often is so that it may be taught to our youth, not in a high and clever way, but briefly and with the greatest simplicity. In this way it will enter the mind easily and be fixed in memory.

WOW! In the above paragraphs, Luther describes a two part ministry. First, parents teach their children sound Christian doctrine from home. Second, pastors preach sermons in a simple manner so Christian teachings are fixed in the memory. When kids aren’t part of the entire church service, they miss out on part of the ministry.


  • At 10:28 PM , Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

    I can't express this very clearly, but there's also the idea that God feeds us with His Word, that His Word will not return void. Even though they may not have understood every word that was preached in a sermon, I think my children were still being fed, better than the pablum of a "children's ministry."

  • At 8:04 AM , Blogger Liz said...

    You know, I completely agree! Even in the most complex of scriptures, there is something to be learned; and it can be taught in a manner even a small child can understand.

  • At 8:43 PM , Blogger TKls2myhrt said...

    "Something I had to adjust to in Lutheran Church is children sit through the service. I’ve learned not to be distracted."

    That was a big adjustment for me, as well. I am continually amazed at how our pastors don't even flinch when a young one throws a brief fit or randomly makes a loud noise. In fact, the entire congregation is totally non-plussed and remains calm. This, in turn, keeps the parents calm and then their children stay calm. I've never been in a church where the kids, by in large, remain with their children and do so quietly.

    Barb, I agree that God's Word definitely seeks them out and does not return empty handed. They do hear the Word preached, even at their young ages.

  • At 4:10 PM , Blogger Liz said...

    You know, and I was amazed, because in general, the children are *really* quiet. Perhaps parents are making quick exits to the "quiet rooms" we have in the back.

    And you're right, since all the parents have the same attitude that children belong in church, no one seems offended by random kid noise.


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