God created the family before he created church. Families are the primary building blocks of any society. They shape our view of life, the world around us, and our image of God whether for good or bad. Through our families, God wants to bless us, and make us a blessing to others. So it is essential to follow the blueprint for the family, which God has given us in the Bible. We can't relate properly to God whom we cannot see, if we aren't relating properly to our brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, parents, children, etc., whom we can see. (1 John 4:20-21 and Matthew 6:14-15)
Nothing any of us do as individuals or as a congregation is more important than raising the next generation of Christ-followers.
Instead of segregating our children to separate classes during our Worship Services, we have all children attend with their parents for the singing, and dismiss our preschool children to a class only during the sermon. How better for children to learn to be part of the whole Body of Christ than to sit with their parents and watch them interact with God and others in corporate worship? Children need to have their parents take them to church and show them what it means to be a man or woman, worshipping God in the congregation! If they're old enough to sit in school, they're old enough to sit for a 30-45 minute sermon. And of course, they are allowed to doodle quietly. But its amazing how much they take in, even when we think they're not listening! Then parents are encouraged to ask their children about the sermon on the way home, reinforcing what they just heard.
Our Pastor often uses PowerPoint presentations to accompany the sermon, to help the young, visual learners to connect and remember truths from God's Word. And children are encouraged to participate in corporate worship in any way they can: singing, collecting the offering, reading Scripture, or asking for prayer during our Prayer and Sharing Time.
Many people today are asking, "How do we get our young adults to come back to church?" The unfortunate answer is often, "When were they ever part of the church, if they were segregated as children and youth?" Multi-generational worship helps teach children to relate to people of all ages, respect elders, and help bring along those younger than themselves.
(There is a Mothers' Room with windows and speakers for mothers and their babies who are crying or nursing. This is really for the convenience of the mothers: it doesn't bother us!)
Studies on Families: