- Written by Pastor Shawn Nettleton Pastor Shawn Nettleton
- Created: August 24 2017 August 24 2017
Growing up in the faith is much like growing up in a family. Watching and experiencing how adults in their family (primarily parents) speak, act and live out their daily lives shape children into who they become as adults. Children learn to speak the language that is spoken around them. They tend to, though not always, follow, even imitate the actions of others around them. Children will also tend to value the things valued by their family.
Baptized in the Christian faith, children are brought into a community of faith that speaks, acts and lives a certain way, a unique way, that is shaped by Christ Jesus. As children grow in the faith, attending and participating in the Divine Service on Sunday mornings is essential, even paramount to faith development.
As it is in the home, so it is in the church. Children will learn to speak, act and live out their Christian faith by what they hear, see and experience on Sunday mornings. Children absorb things by repetition, they learn to sing and pray even before they can read or understand everything completely. A very normal part of the learning process includes asking questions. “Why does pastor wear a bath robe at church?” “What does the word Sanctus mean?” “What is Advent?” “Why do we light candles at church?” These are all good, inquisitive and important questions!
To help parents and grandparents answer these questions and more, the LCMS recently released an updated resource titled “Kids in the Divine Service.” These brief guides are written for parents and children to read and talk about together. They give instructive and helpful insights into the Divine Service, church setting, seasons of the church year and Christian faith for children of all ages as well as helps for parents to continue the conversation.
Starting this month, "Kids in the Divine Service" can be found on the last page of the Sunday service folder and in The Eagle under a new section titled “The Family Altar.” May these guides be a blessing to you and your children as we grow together in faith and life in Christ Jesus.
Rev. Shawn Nettleton is Senior Pastor at Saint John’s Lutheran Church. You can reach him in the church office, by email at nettleton@StJohnsFC.org or at 970-305-2420.