Friends, what a blessing it has been to share this past year with you. Your encouragement, excitement and support has been a blessing to me as I’ve had the opportunity to share my heart with all of you regarding children, families and the body of Christ.
This year over 150,000 new people visited this blog and shared its posts. Many of you wrote to me and shared testimonies and prayer concerns and amazing resources. Several of you called me, emailed me, or chatted with me about various experiences in your homes and churches. I have been immeasurably blessed to join you in your ministry journey.
Here are the top 5 blog posts of 2015.
TOP POST – My Kid Doesn’t “Get” Anything Out of Church – This post went viral with over 13,000 shares in the first two days. A number of media outlets picked it up and many of you, parents and ministers, wrote to me afterwards with your own stories.
Kids are… kids. Churches would be wise to find ways to make it easier to invite kids into worship. Parents should be prepared for the inevitable eye rolls of boredom or occasional acting out and having to do follow-up after the service to reinforce what was taught.
But I firmly believe these frustrations of the moment are far less painful than the alternative – a generation who is unknown, disengaged, and separated from the larger body of Christ.
By giving our children a place to be seen, to see, and to experience their faith with others, we give them so much more – we give them a foundation for their faith that will leave lasting impressions on their heart.
The follow-up to this post, Do Not Hinder: Welcoming Kids into Worship was the second most read and shared blog. This post offers some thoughts on the heart of welcome and a culture of inclusiveness churches can foster for all ages as well as practical ideas to reach children in the larger church context.
In keeping with this same heart, the third most popular blog was It’s Not Fair to Make Kids go to Church which addresses the legitimate concern that church isn’t fair. “It’s not fair to adults who want to listen and participate without distraction. It’s not fair for parents to have to have their kids sit with them in worship. It’s not fair for the kids to have to sit through something boring and not geared for them. It’s not fair to the pastor to have to hear kids talking, babies crying, and tween whispering. It’s not fair to anyone.” These feelings are understandable but as this post shares, it may not necessarily be God’s heart.
Church is Boring – Have you ever heard these words shared on a Sunday morning? If so, here’s some thoughts on how to approach the topic of boredom in church.
A lot of underlying assumptions about why we go to church and what church is supposed to look like and how kids are wired and all that stuff, but I’m just going to tell you my simple reason for why I want my kids participating in worship. Because they are members of the body of Christ.
The last of the top five, Quit Kicking Jesus out of Worship, addresses Jesus’ statement that welcoming a child is welcoming Him and not only Him but the One who sent him. At D6 Family Ministry Conference, Rob Reinow posed a similar question, “What would we do with our kids if Jesus came to Church?” Each of these posts encourage us to consider if we are providing space for Christ’s heart towards children to be experienced in our corporate worship settings.
As we get ready to enter into 2016, I am excited about how God is moving in churches, children, and families across America.
I’m blessed to be a part of that story with all of you.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- And much more!
About the author
Christina Embree is wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. Currently studying Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family, Seedbed, and ChildrensMinistryBlog.com.