This Sunday is "Next Generation Sunday." What's That?
Some months have five Sundays. Every time we come to a fifth Sunday, we make the following changes to our schedule:
- Cancel Children's Church (Sunday School & Nursery operate like normal)
- Invite our small children into the main worship service (coloring pages provided)
- Have a "children's sermon" in addition to a slightly shorter sermon geared toward the adults.
Why do we do that?
You might be tempted to think that the whole point is to give our children's ministry volunteers a much-needed break. And there would be nothing wrong with that! But that's not the purpose of Next Generation Sunday.
We do this for the kids! Sure, they have a hard time sitting still in church, but that only bothers us older folks. Yes, they "whisper" a little more loudly than is really appropriate, but again, that's only an inconvenience to everybody else!
Keep in mind: kids last forever. Before long--God-willing--they'll be the deacons and pastors and Sunday school teachers and community group leaders. Not too much later, they'll spend eternity somewhere, just like all of us.
We want our kids to know that we see them, that we're glad they're with us, and that "church" is for them too. We want them to hear, early and often, that their church family is interested in the questions they have and the struggles they face. If they don't feel welcome in the church, where will they go?
If you don't have kids, go out of your way to smile and say something kind to one of the little ones sitting near you this Sunday.
If you DO have kids, and you're anxious how your child is going to behave, don't worry! We love your whole family, not just the ones who know how to sit still or stay quiet. If you need a little help "herding the cats," then just ask :)
We might not all have the same last name or live in the same house, but our church is a family, a fact that Next Generation Sunday helps us remember. I'm looking forward to seeing my family this Sunday!