I just found out about something that sounds really interesting. Doug Phillips of Vision Forum (www.visionforum.com) is aiding in the presentation of a conference whose purpose is to unite church and family--also called the family integrated church concept. The main thrust is how the church is wondering where all the young people have gone. This line of thought is suggesting that the age-segregated variety of church we have mostly now is the reason. It's like we are telling our children and young people "church isn't for you--go over there." Five and ten years later, we wonder why they no longer want to be involved in church, or always are church-hopping--attending the ones with the best programs.
The idea is that if we want to raise a generation of young people who love church, and attend out of love and obedience to Christ, we can't bend them away from it now. Get them involved now. Find ways of incorporating children in the work of the church. Let's teach them how to serve every week! Have them assist in taking offering, or have older children or youth read the call to worship passage. Or give the announcements. Church isn't about going to the best programs to be served, it's for the purpose of teaching in sound doctrine, exhortation among believers, and I also think it's about learning to serve one another. Kelly Crawfor has a great article on this topic in her archives on Church and Children's Ministry. I think it's called "How Shall We Then REach Them?". Great stuff to consider.
It would be a great thing for pastors to attend.