19 September, 2009

Keeping Children in the (Reformed) Church.. Well, At Least One Way

There are many reasons why children leave the Church of Christ when they are at an age to make decisions on their own. Of course, the main reason that children leave the Church is because they do not have converted hearts; but other reasons can drive children out of the Church.

At times children leave the denomination that their parents have chosen and go into other denominations. I have seen many children grow up to leave their Reformed churches and go into evangelical churches of some sort. This too is sad (although not as devistating as the first scenerio).

So what are some reasons that children will leave the Church? One of the main reasons, if not the main reason, is that they do not feel/think that they are a part of the church. They believe that the church is their parent's church, and not THEIR church. They never take ownership of the covenant of communicant membership, the relationships in the church, or the teaching from the pulpit.

One way that the Dutch branches of Reformed Churches have combated this in a small way is by providing children with Psalters that are small enough for their hands- their own personal Psalter. This may sound simplistic, but when a small child has their own Psalter they are more likely to participate in worship and more likely to grow to love the Psalms and the Reformed faith. With this in mind, I am pleased to announce that Crown and Covenant will be producing 4x6 inch Book of Psalms for Worship. I look forward to getting these for our children (and they look forward to having them!). They can be acquired here. If your congregation is using the Book of Psalms for Worship, I would recommend that these are purchased for the children (teens love them too) or parents be encouraged to purchase them.

Even though this is a small step, and essentially will not do anything without the Holy Spirit working in their lives, I would argue that doing 'small things' to make children feel at home in their congregations will prove to be beneficial in the end. We all must take ownership of our vows- and children must learn that at an early age... even if it includes a really great Psalter that is just their size!

No comments: