Pastor John Piper and his wife Noel have some very helpful suggestions for families to worship together on Sunday mornings. By the time their kids were four years old, the Pipers had their children participating in “big church” with the rest of the family. They do not believe that “children’s church” is helpful at all for children in the long-run, and I agree. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
‘Something seems wrong when parents want to take their children in the formative years and put them with other children and other adults to form their attitude and behavior in worship. Parents should be jealous to model for their children the tremendous value they put on reverence in the presence of Almighty God. . .
‘Children can be taught in the first five years of life to obey their father and mother when they say, “Sit still and be quiet.” Parents’ helplessness to control their children should not be solved by alternative services but by a renewal of discipline in the home. . .
‘We do not believe that children who have been in children’s church for several years between the ages of 6 and 12 will be more inclined or better trained to enjoy worship than if they had spent those years at the side of their parents. In fact, the opposite is probably the case. . .
‘It will probably be harder to acclimate a 10â€“ or 12-year-old to a new worship service than a 5â€“ or 6-year-old. The cement is much less wet, and vast possibilities of shaping the impulses of the heart are gone. . .
‘By the time they are four years old, our children assume that they’ll be at all the regular weekly services with us.’
You will find that the article contains much more practical advice on how to get the family together for worship on Sundays. So I highly recommend that you check out the rest of the article.