Few things are more entertaining than watching little one’s play sports. But I enjoy few things more than seeing little one’s sing about Jesus, particularly when it is my own little one we’re talking about. Yet should we have kids up front to entertain the congregation because they are getting ready to hear a long sermon? Or could there be another reason for kids to be up front?
While a church service isn’t intended to entertain folks (we’ll miss Jesus, if we aim for entertainment), it nevertheless is still the highest joy that I and many other experience in the week. While its not entertainment, I’m often full of joy when I leave on Sundays. And on one particular Sunday when we had the benefit of being blessed by our children singing, I rode “cloud 9” the whole day.
Here are some reasons why I was so blessed and look forward to more of these opportunities in the future.
1.) Jesus said, “Let the children come to me (Matt 19:14).” You don’t HAVE to have kids up front singing a song during the tithe, but it is a way for us to let them come to Him and lead us in worship. We are legitimating them as members of the covenant community.
2.) Little children possess a joy that adults sometimes lose because of the cares of this word. Is it naievete? I don’t think so. As adults we are to be responsible, but we often times forget to relax and trust Jesus. Little kids remind us to do the latter, even if they are unaware of some of the responsibilities like working and paying bills. Seeing their joy can restore our joy.
3.) Next generation. You don’t HAVE to have little kids up front singing, but having them reinforces that our God is a God to us and our children. He is faithful to us as we attempt to pass on the truth of the Lord to the next generation. Some of the kids up there do have personal faith and want to profess it. Others will probably some day soon profess faith. We see the faithfulness of God working and don’t need to be afraid of this evil age, as though it somehow can snatch our children out of God’s faithful hands.
4.) Is laughter part of worship? Well we can laugh in sermons, can’t we? Laughing during confession of sins is obviously not apropos, but laughter has a place in redemptive history; it signifies that we are redeemed. So I think it is apropos during corporate worship, which aims retells the gospel story each week. The laughing folk are the redeemed folk.
Psalm 126:2-3 “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” 3 The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”
5.) It gives the children an opportunity to express that they love Jesus. Adults have opportunities obviously through joining the church and professing faith, or by leading or playing music, or by giving testimonies. But I think that we need to hear from kids more often.
6.) Some kids in this video do not like being center of attention. Obviously you can tell my son, in the middle, wearing red, has no problems. When he gets older, we’ll explain to him not to try to draw attention to himself. Yet he was so excited to get up and sing about Jesus, that I didn’t want to put any parameters other than “Don’t fall off the stage!”
But for other children, it took real faith to get up there. Faith in the One whom they were singing about and to. That challenged and encouraged me.
7.) The simple message and joy of Jesus washing our sins away, and how it truly is a “Happy Day,” can mean something more coming from a child than an adult or pastor. Sometimes we need reminders that we entered into a relationship with Jesus because of a child like faith and possessed a great joy because of it. Sometimes it takes children singing freely and unhindered, experiencing that joy while they are expressing it, to lead us back to the joy of God’s salvation.
Luke 18:17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
If you haven’t seen the video of the kids singing, here it is.