“Suffer the little ones to come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
When you come to Good Shepherd you will notice that we include the children in the worship service rather than sending them to a separate “Junior Church.” We desire that each child be allowed to receive all the blessings and Grace of God available to them through baptism, communion, God’s Word, and prayer.
It is important for families to worship together, rather than having separate programs for parents and children. Kids learn best how to worship reverently as they see it being modeled by their parents. To quote Rev. William Klock, “We believe that the Bible views children as members of a family who are brought to the Body of Christ (the Church) by their parents. The Church and the parents then work together to nurture their children in the faith. [We are] committed to a biblical pattern of church growth that relies on the nurture of whole families, rather than on the development of multiple programs or activities that further divide already fragmented modern homes.”
When you bring your children to Good Shepherd you will have the opportunity to teach them how to worship. We are available to help you do this. (Books and printed materials are available to help you teach your children to worship. Consultation with trained church members is also available upon request.) We understand the challenges this brings, especially if you have not yet begun to take the responsibility of spiritual leadership in your home, or have never learned to do so. We are patient with wiggling and with a parent needing to take a child out to be comforted, instructed, or disciplined during the Service. We have a nursery and training room available during the services for parents to take infants and toddlers when needed.
There are excellent training materials available for use at home with your children in family prayer and Bible study during the week, depending on their ages and stages. We will be happy to help with suggestions for this. Catechism classes are provided at the church when needed.
Supporting our families with children is a primary goal of Good Shepherd. The family altar, biblical entrepreneurship, family vision for faithfulness in future generations – these are all ways that many families are choosing to live before the face of God (Coram Deo). “One generation shall praise Thy works to another, And shall declare Thy mighty acts.” (Psalm 145:4)
The last words of the Old Testament (Malachi 4:6) are the same words that open the New Testament (Luke 1:17): “And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers…” The challenges of parenting are not new, and neither is God’s plan for families. We will encourage you in obeying God’s instruction to parents when he gave the Ten Commandments: “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. ” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). As you worship together with your children, remember the words of Isaiah: “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children” (Isaiah 54:13).