I recently received an email asking one of the most commonly asked questions about simple/organic/house church: “What about children?”
This reminded me that the basics are the basics and it’s good to keep addressing them.
I wrote some good, older posts on this topic here and here.
Today, it is heartwarming to be able to reflect on several youth I know that began house church while quite young. As they grew emotionally and spiritually it was great to see the way they took on more and more ownership of their church family and the gatherings themselves. Today, as high-schoolers (and even junior-highers) they are very engaged in worship and discussions of the Word with the adults in their group with confidence and conviction. It appears to me, from my very partial perspective, that many of them are uniquely articulate in their faith and are spiritual leaders among their peers.
No setting is perfect and nothing can replace the centrality of the nuclear family in imparting spiritual life, but the organic church family does seem to provide a natural support for this process.
In fairness, I must also say that transitioning children who are already older (from late primary grades through high school) is often not easy since they are already accustomed to more traditional settings. In these cases, we have no difficulty encouraging these young people to attend youth groups, if they want, while letting them engage in the house church setting at a pace they are comfortable with.
This is a great topic and I hope we will continue to explore together how to see our children loving and engaging with Jesus as maturing disciples—a trend that is taking place less and less in many of our cultures!