God never intended families to be segregated in worship. In fact, God disapproves of divisions in worship because Christ is not divided. Therefore, there is “neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female,” but all one in Christ. The simple analogy of the church being the “body of Christ” is enough to tell us this. To be a body, it has to be together.
Nothing saddens me more than to see a worship service in which the children are rounded up and led away so as not to inconvenience the rest of the congregation. Sure, there’s a time for a parent to take out a fussy little one and I’m thankful we have a “cry room” for such occasions (complete with speakers and a TV feed so mom or dad misses nothing). But children belong in worship. Scripture says preaching is powerful. Reading from a story book, playing a game, or hearing a talk in a separate room isn’t the same.
I want the little ones to hear the name Jesus early and often. I want the hymns to be etched into their little minds. I want them to learn the reverence of God’s house. Entire houses came together in worship in the New Testament. We rob our children if we segregate them.
Originally published January 2020