Someway an amazing attitude has developed about the two Sunday morning services in most churches. Churches usually assemble first for “Sunday School” for about an hour, and this is followed by “Morning Worship Service.” We would be wise to think about a widespread misconception that the first hour is for children, and the second hour is for adults.
What is the purpose of that first service? Obviously, it is a time where divided classes teach the Bible in various ways depending on the age of those in the individual classes. But, is that all that is involved? Have we forgotten that the first hour also has rich, in-depth Bible classes for adults? These classes delve into principles of Christian living in a way regular sermons do not approach.
Who decides about the nature of these adult classes. Elders are told to “feed the flock of God which is among you,” and a vital part of the spiritual food (both “milk” and “meat”) they provide for us is found in these classes. Are they optional? Are they important? Think about how these words apply to us in our relationship to our elders as they feed us. “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:17). Our elders watch out for our souls, and they provide vital food for our growth every Sunday morning. What should be our response as we honor them? Obey them and be submissive because failure to do that is unprofitable to our souls. Let me urge every member to pray about this.
Now, what about that second hour? Far too many parents fail to see that even young children can be deeply involved in all that happens in morning worship. Wise parents would never think that their prime responsibility is to keep children quiet, thinking there is nothing in the second hour for children.
Children love to sing, and even small children can be taught some of the songs, especially if these songs are sung at home or when traveling in our cars. Look around you and see how other parents are teaching children to sing. Children can learn what prayer is and listen to prayers in worship, especially if bowing heads and saying prayers are part of daily lives in hour homes. Children can be taught how special that time is when there is communion just by watching the actions of parents. During the sermon, let them count the number of times certain words are found in a sermon. Finally, the smallest children can be part of giving.
The truth is that both services are intended for both children and adults. Think about this. Pray about this.