Jesus is multigenerational; there is a place for everyone and a role for each person to play in His church. From the oldest to the youngest, we are all a part of the body and all have a contribution to make. COVID-19 has forced us to think out of the box in many areas.
One of our congregations tried something that had an impact on everyone involved, in quite an unexpected way. Due to COVID-19 restrictions our Edgemead congregation held family services on a Saturday morning, for the period where the church had to meet in smaller numbers under lockdown.
It would be good to imagine the scene; noisy children, lots of laughter, jumping up and down (sometimes from chairs) and expressive worship without singing. We could never have imagined that our services would look like this! It reminded me a bit of the church in Acts, everyone was together in one service – from the smallest baby to the oldest granny. It was certainly louder and rowdier than what we were used to.
During our family services the children were encouraged to participate with prayers and contributions over the microphone at the front. This has since become quite normal for them to do. It was wonderful to see how the kids’ confidence grew; how they overcame fear and shyness and made staggering contributions to our services. One lady was so encouraged by seeing a five-year-old boy praying over the microphone, that she shared at her community group how it challenged her to trust God for more boldness.
As parents we desire to see our children surpass us in life. We want them to move beyond us emotionally, physically and spiritually; almost like Elijah and Elisha. On a personal note, I can definitely attest to the fact that I would have never had the boldness to pray over a microphone as a seven year-old and certainly not in front of a large group of adults! Our Sienna, after praying over the microphone publicly one afternoon, turned to her dad and said, “Daddy, you can pray now, don’t be afraid!”
As creatures of habit we love our comfort, convenience and particular ways of doing things. As Christians we have to consistently remind ourselves that we are people of the Spirit and that we follow Jesus. Sometimes this means that Jesus will intentionally push us into a corner where we are forced to change our habits. We can so easily rely on what we know, what we are used to and what worked in the past, but Jesus causes us and our children to change. No longer do we see these young ones as future JoshGenners but rather, we are challenged by their faith, obedience and boldness to follow Jesus as active members of our normal meetings and church life.