A few weeks ago, I started studying for my doctorate, and the first course was called, “Christian Formation of Children and Adolescents.” One of the topics of discussion was whether children should attend the worship service, sitting with their parents, or if the church should provide age segmented programming for them. This topic obviously interests me because I have three elementary aged children.

I think both have their pros and cons. I’m not arguing either way. I just want to put this out here as I think through the topic.

Pros of Children in Worship:

  • Participate in the overall life of the church.
  • They get to see elements of worship such as baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
  • They get to watch their parents worship God.
  • The congregation learns to respect children and not see them as a distraction.

Cons of Children in Worship:

  • Children may not learn as much in worship as in age-targeted classes. Often times, they are merely told to sit there and not make too much noise.
  • They do not get to interact with other children.
  • They could learn that worshipping God must be done in a certain manner according to how their church tradition teaches them.

Again, I don’t think I have an answer. I know what my preference is, but I can see both sides of the argument.

Did I miss either an advantage or disadvantage? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.