As a church, we have spent part of 2018 and all of 2019 visioning and planning for our future. In the midst of these discussions, many people have asked, “Well, what about the children and Children’s Ministry?” Don’t worry Church, we haven’t forgotten them or let this vital part of our church slip through the cracks! Over the past couple of years our Pastoral Staff has been discussing and praying over what it means to grow our children in faith and develop them in the way of Jesus.
You may have noticed that over the past year or two, we have strategically placed times of Family Worship in our church calendar. The main reason we have done this is because we believe in the significant impact worship as a family, sitting together in the pews and chairs, has on a family, a child, and a congregation. We believe it is important for the church to partner with parents and walk with them on the journey. It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes a church to raise that child in the way of Christ!
Through much prayer and discussion, we have decided that putting our best foot forward with our children means integrating more of the younger generation into the larger worship of our church. Starting December 1st all kids from 3rd – 5th grade will begin worshiping with their parents/grandparents in the Sanctuary/FLC every week. This allows for older elementary schoolers to learn at a higher level and shows them that they are part of something larger than themselves. There are many reasons for this decision and timing, from education and development to letting children participate with our entire congregation during the Christmas season and beyond to learning the rhythm of our worship at an impressionable age.
We want our children, families, and community to know that Johns Creek Baptist Church believes that children belong in church and in the wider community of faith. Children in worship is important to the entire church’s spiritual formation. Having children in worship encourages us to examine how we engage in worship, our faith, and with each other. They remind us that there isn’t a “right” way or only one way to worship and to be open to the spontaneity and mystery of the Holy Spirit. They remind us that God is present in the messy-ness of our lives, giving us opportunity to reexamine the sacred and holy. Children provide us with opportunities to exercise patience and grace while encountering God through the eyes and with the faith of a child.
So Church, when you see a parent hesitantly walking into the Sanctuary with their children, tell them how glad you are that they were brave enough to show up that morning. When we’re in the middle of a sermon and you hear children in the FLC giggle, give them a knowing smile instead of a chastising look. When a visitor comes in with no idea how to worship with their kids, point them to the Kids Worship Station in the back of both worship venues where they can pick up a bag, fidget toys, children’s bulletin, and Family Worship brochure cheat-sheet. Most importantly, believe and act like children are a priority at JCBC and we all love that they belong to the family of God!
Thank you for letting me be your Children’s Pastor. I love JCBC!
Johns Creek Baptist Church