2 year olds go to the 2 year old class, 1st graders go to the 1st grade class, teenagers go to youth group, young marrieds to the young married class, seniors to the senior class, etc. etc. We are segregating our churches exactly like the world segregates by age. If mentoring is taking place, it's not by the parents but by some professional (i.e. youth pastor). This type of divided family worship is not modeled in scripture. Instead parents are exhorted to disciple their own children (Deut 6:6-7).
At our church, one children's church class is available to children under 6. Half the parents send their kids; half worship as a family. The idea is: If your kid isn't old enough to understand all that is being preached in the service, they can attend children's church where a sermon will be suited more to their understanding. My question is this: if you have children's church, do you think you are finding out about it when your kid disobeys or has a bad attitude in class? Or if you teach children's church, do you tell parents when they need to discipline their child for some heart issue?
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.It is our responsibility as parents to disciple our children in the Word. (From the scripture above, it sounds like we're supposed to be training our children all. the. time.) So, if it's our job to disciple them, what difference does it make if there is one hour a week where they hear teaching they don't totally understand? How often do they hear you and hubby or you and a friend talking about things they don't completely understand? Is it better that you are able to be there with them to correct heart attitudes as they pop up?
Hubby and I were recently talking about the fact that in the past year at least, we have never had a children's church teacher tell us that Daniel or Lydia disobeyed or had a bad attitude in class. And we were both confident that it's not because they obey perfectly and always have great attitudes. ;)
I don't have answers, only questions. But I'm thinking about it. . .