On New Year’s Day worship, I had a wonderful worship experience. The music and message were stellar as always, but this time I got to experience it through the eyes of a child. He was the only one present for Children’s Church, so I decided to do things a little differently. We went up to the balcony and observed worship. He asked some questions, and I got to explain to him why we do what we do. While some might view having one child at Children’s Church as unsuccessful, I view it as a precious and sacred opportunity.
We are a numbers focused society. We measure success by attendance numbers. High attendance is successful, low numbers are considered a failure. Sometimes in ministry, one can get discouraged when numbers aren’t as high as you would like. But in church, everyone matters. That means, no matter how low attendance is, we celebrate who is there because everyone is a precious child of God who should be celebrated.
I think there’s a reason why Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered, there am I in the midst of them.” To Jesus, everyone is important. So he will always be present when we are gathered, whether there are two or two hundred. So be careful when you say, “We need more children, young families, etc.” Because then the ones who are present won’t feel valued, and they are. They are precious.
On Wednesday, during our Epiphany service, we had one child in childcare, one child and one youth attending the service. While more would have been wonderful, I am grateful for all who came. Sometimes our ministry to one another is to plant seeds and issue an invitation. The results are not up to us, but to God. So let us give thanks for everyone we see, remembering they are precious and valued.