Would You Send Your Child Away From The Dinner Table Unfed Weekly?

I can understand why evangelicals and others, who do not have a covenantal theology, would exile their children during public worship but I do not understand why so many ostensibly Reformed congregations have adopted the practice of dismissing their covenant children from the service to “children’s church” (or whatever more clever name it may have). From what I see, this appears to be a common practice. Sometimes the bulletin explains that the children are sent out of public worship in order to “prepare them to worship.” Really? This seems like sending one’s child from the dinner table in order to prepare them to eat.

I understand the practical problem. At least some of the same congregations that have this practice also do not set aside time outside of the worship service for Christian instruction or catechism. So, it seems, they’re holding catechism during the worship service. I guess that the reason that there’s no additional time for catechism is that the parents won’t make time and the church won’t make them make time. So, congregations are making due.

It’s hard to know where to start with this complex of problems. Read more»

R. Scott Clark, “The Mystery of Children’s Church,” Heidelblog (2008).

©R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.


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  • R. Scott Clark
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    R.Scott Clark is the President of the Heidelberg Reformation Association, the author and editor of, and contributor to several books and the author of many articles. He has taught church history and historical theology since 1997 at Westminster Seminary California. He has also taught at Wheaton College, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Concordia University. He has hosted the Heidelblog since 2007.

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