Every Sunday is a teaching moment for my kids. As a family and youth minister, it can be something I take for granted. I was reminded this weekend, as I sat in my new Church, the importance of teaching my kids what is happening in the worship service. A new place means new practices and old ones done in different ways. Often I forget that my own kids may not fully understand or know what is going on. So this Sunday I had a great moment with my youngest.
Durring confession we were asked to kneel or sit and ask God for forgiveness. I think my youngest may not have understood or might have just not paid attention but either way she was kneeling and praying but she looked very confused. So I leaned over and asked her “Do you know what you are supposed to be doing?” She looked at me and said “No dad!” She had that look of embarrassment in her eyes. She was praying. She tried to look like she knew what she was doing. She was kneeling and had her hands folded and eyes shut. I leaned over and said “Ella, we are confessing our sin. We are telling God what we did wrong this week.” She turned and with a small smile of enlightenment she got back to it. I was so excited for her because she got to finish her confession and hear God’s words of absolution.
This episode made me think however that more of us need to remember to share with our young and new members what is going on. We in pews need to share with them about what is happening so that they can participate. Just because they are performing the actions doesn’t mean they know what is happening. Next week as a parent I would encourage you to watch your children and ask if they understand what is going on. Ask if they need help to participate. When we see a new person who looks lost come beside them and ask if they need help. It may just help them hear about Jesus and his awesome forgiveness.