Being missionaries, Gil and I get the honor of traveling to many churches. Often, when we visit these churches, our kids are with us and attend the children's programming. We've seen a lot of kid’s ministries.
Let me put it to you straight. When kids worship purely, they aren’t doing it to perform or show off- just as anyone else. It’s not a spectacle when kids worship. It isn’t cute and doesn’t need to be pointed at, smiled at, shown to the person sitting next to you. One quick way to get kids to “fake” worship or show off in our churchy culture settings is to make light of their actions.
Acts 2:39 says that the Holy Spirit is for every believer. Not just the grown up believer. When a child believes in Jesus, he or she is a believer. 100%. Not a miniature adult with a portion of belief, but an actual, 100% believer.
Do we point out when someone puts offering in the basket? Or reads Scripture aloud to the body? Do we think it’s cute when an adult prays for the group? These are all acts of worship. Why then, do we make a spectacle out of a child raising her hands in worship, clapping along and singing with the congregation? She is actively participating in the worship service, which is what we desire as parents. If it is our hope to raise our children as a part of the Body of Christ, then why are we distracted when they do?
Kids are so aware of us and notice the slightest change in their spaces. They will see you pointing out another child and- if they are like mine- will not do whatever that other child was doing so they aren’t also pointed out.
This thing we call "following Jesus” isn’t a game, folks. It’s real life. Let’s keep it real, alive, growing to maturity, and pure. Don’t let yourself be distracted by another believer and don’t be is a distraction to someone else.