Last week a visitor praised the joyful singing of our church children in the worship service. You may assume we sang something easy and child friendly, but the contrary was true. The first anthem of the morning burst forth as “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.
Brimpton Baptist Church, seating less than 80 people on hard, old fashioned antique benches, rests quietly behind a hedge across from a rapeseed field. Made from Cotswold stone, the 173 year old building sits quietly in front of a grove of willow and birch trees. However, on Sunday mornings, the entire property bursts into life. Twenty odd children run around the carpark, taking turns on the swings out back, rushing up to greet their friends, and chasing each other through the small field out back.
When the hand on the small wall clock clicks over to 11:00, children race to their seats. Announcements are made and the introduction to the first hymn begins. Each child finds his hymnal, the smaller ones standing on the pew and singing out on the repeated lines, trying to join in the lines they know by memory.
These mini-people have been included in our worship from birth or since their families started attending. They have sung out as toddlers out of tune. I didn’t hush my littles. Who am I to quiet their worship? There is a time to be quiet and listen, yes. But during the singing we all pour our hearts to the Lord in song.
As a result, last Sunday, over twenty children burst forth in song to all 4 verses in our hymnal of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. A visitor was impressed by the “life” in the singing. Way to go, kids!
So, next time you hear a toddler singing loudly and off key, smile. Yes, it’s embarrassing. But he will grow. He will learn the words to many hymns before he can read. He is the future of your church. Let’s look down the road just a few short years to the to the long term benefits of incorporating children in the worship service!