In an effort to include children, someone came up with the Children’s Story section and, well-intentioned as it is, it goes against Scripture. In our version, children are called to the front and told to sit down so they can be told a story – stories which are sometimes longer that a sermon. How is a child to learn from that? The “come and sit” scenario has been instilled in us from childhood so that, as adults, we’re still sitting down waiting to be told a ‘story’, a sermon.
The Biblical version says, “Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” (Matthew 21:16). What precede from the mouth of babes and infants are reflex based. If they are hungry, need changing, in pain, they cry. It is unscripted and unprompted. Instead of telling children stories, we should allow them to utter their unrehearsed and, instinctive praise – let them tell of what Jesus has done for them in the past week. You will be amazed at some of the answers. The point is – whatever they say, the worship facilitator should use that to reinforce a spiritual truth that they can retain. Thus, when they become adults, this training “will not depart from them” and they will find it natural to share their testimonies.
This training must first begin in the home. At family worship, allow children to take a meaningful part, sharing a song, Bible verse, and expressing thanks to God.