Our goal is to help our children become true disciples of Jesus Christ.
Here at Fellowship of Life Church our children are very important. We value our families and cherish the children that God has given us. We delight in their innocence, their gifts and talents, their interests, and their joys. We take our parenting responsibilities very seriously and joyously because we love our children and desire to nurture them in righteousness and holiness.
We enjoy worshipping with our children. Our children enjoy corporate worship because they are included in worship. We don't separate them during worship because we understand the importance of a true corporate worship which includes entire families. Including them makes them, and us, feel that they are an integral part of the corporate body rather than a subgroup. We also know that God will, and does, minister to and through our children. This is the primary reason we do not have a "children's church/children's worship service", nor do we have Sunday School classes which would otherwise separate children from the congregation during the entire worship service in the sanctuary and prevent their participation. God is using this to restore families and family worship, and to destroy the barriers of separation between gender and age.
Our children will learn more from our example than they will from classes. They observe the intimacy of our own worship and our own walk with the Lord, and then eagerly join with us. Worship, then, is a great time to explain to your children what you are doing, what you are feeling, and what Holy Spirit is doing in and through you and in and through them.
We encourage our parents to actively accept their place of authority and responsibility for teaching and training up their children. Deut. 6:7-9 says that parents are to teach their children diligently moment by moment, opportunity by opportunity, and place by place. As parents we have a great responsibility to see them become all that God wants them to be. Their lives will impact the Kingdom of God as much as ours do. This nurturing begins at birth. Children need consistent love and devotion from their parents as much as they need training and teaching which is rooted in the Word of God. The investment of our time and resources in our children is the most important investment we can ever make.
We are sensitive as to what Holy Spirit seeks to do in our meetings, so we welcome when He speaks to our children during the service in various ways. Children are not lesser or a subgroup. The elderly are not lesser or a subgroup. Every joint supplies. Every joint has a need to hear God and to know that He cares about them and desires to work in and through them. If our children are born again and filled with His Spirit we know that they will hear and understand God's voice. Remember that as a young child Jesus said to his parents when they found him in the temple with the priests, "I must be about my Father's business". Age should never be a barrier preventing children from hearing God at the corporate level or from even being used by God to minister to others. These are also opportunities for the family to discuss and reinforce what God is doing during the meeting.
Providing our children opportunities to interact during worship and in our homes helps develop their character and set the pattern for maintaining relationships with other Christians as they grow. This is one reason why we encourage our families to include their children in local house church meetings. The joy and strength that they receive day to day from their parents, Christian friends and congregants will also flow out of them into the lives of other children in their neighborhoods and schools.
The great commission of the Church is to go out and make disciples of all the nations. What greater place to evangelize than our own neighborhoods, schools and workplaces. Holy Spirit will surely use our children. Our part is to help prepare/equip them, nurture them, and encourage them.