In the West, a consumer mentality is often fostered in us even when it comes to church. We, unfortunately, all too easily have a “What’s in it for me?” attitude. And, where this exists, little is required of every member to grow in real love and care for each other. And, we like it that way!
Unfortunately, as a result of this, we experience a shallow form of what church really is. While we go deeper and deeper in knowledge with our countless programs, teachings and seminars, we remain poor in true fellowship where genuine love is fostered.
A Family, Not a Business
Our family is currently planning a trip to Disney World where a bunch of professionals do a superb job of running around in order to make the visitors happy. Isn’t this what church has become for many of us? In contrast, church life should be like family life where flexibility and sensitivity is fostered among every member toward one another and their needs.
Church cell groups, as well as organic, simple and house churches all contribute to making church more real, intimate and participatory for many and I would say are probably less prone to being consumer-oriented. And, I would also greatly encourage everyone to participate in a group of this nature. However, having said that, these groups often struggle to know how to adequately incorporate children with their needs into their gatherings.
What to do with the children can easily be a bone of contention and as a result it is probably ignored rather than addressed. Isn’t it strange that, “leave well alone” is the adage followed when all isn’t well. In this case, not addressing this issue of properly incorporating our children is at the peril of a healthy church life, the children’s best and their desire to remain attending when as adults the choice becomes theirs.
Let’s remember that children who have come to faith are a part of His Body. They need nourishment and are even able to nourish. The joy of successfully incorporating everyone should be our goal, especially those that Jesus demonstrated He would never turn away.
Recently I read a post called, “So Whaddaya do With the Kids” at http://www.home-church.org/voicesdocs/whaddaya.html that demonstrates a wise, incorporative and selfless model worth considering. I put it to you as an example “…so that you may know how one is to behave in God’s household, which is the church of the living God” (1 Tim 3:15).