One of the things I love about our little church is how many of our parents also attend. The idea of inter-generational worship is foreign in the American church, we live our own lives with our own people. Families are often isolated, far from the support system that extended family can bring. The family interaction at church is minimal. We enter the church building and the family splits as everyone goes to their respective groups based on age, grade or type.
I believe there are many benefits in generations worshiping together and learning side by side. We have biblical examples in Moses and Jethro, Timothy and his mother and grandmother, King Lemuel and his mother in Proverbs 31, and the list goes on. Home and family are meant to be the first glimpse at who God is, a living example of the gospel, why would we split this natural order in the church? At our church we DO have classes for the children, but we try to integrate them into the body as much as possible. We include them in worship, at appropriate men’s and women’s events, in community groups. I love to hear the kids playing in the other room during community group, because they actually exist and have a right to live and make noise!
The fact that grandparents attend our church means that a child in our church has at least 3 or 4 familial influences within the body of Christ that are also reinforced throughout the week as families naturally come together. I have found that grandparents are generous with their love so my kids also benefit from the love, care and guidance of the grandparents of their friends. It brings me great joy to see my daughter sit and chat with the older ladies in our church, she tells me that she prayed for the salvation of their husbands. Imagine her great delight in hearing that man had made a profession of faith. Church, family, faith, they all meld together in a thing called LIFE. I am so blessed that we can walk through life with our parents worshiping right alongside us, I know that it is a rare thing indeed!
So, my question to you is this: Have you invited your parents to attend church with you? Have you invited them into your community group? Do you let them into your social circles? In America we’ve been taught to have community only with those in our same age group, walk of life, social circle. We’re missing out on a wealth of wisdom and rich fellowship that can be gleaned from our parents and their generation. The other joy is to watch life spring forth in their hearts and lives, we have great influence and opportunity to impact their lives, that they might finish well.
INVITE YOUR PARENTS TO CHURCH!