Why do we have, should we have, a children’s talk as part of a church’s corporate worship on a Sunday?
Unfortunately this part of the service is often the time when someone gets up and entertains the congregation for 5 minutes by talking about something loosely connected to the Bible.
But it doesn’t need to be like this? It could be used to teach the children (with their parents present) the important truths of the faith.
Calvin was passionate about children were brought up in Christian doctrine. He believed that ministers had the responsibility for ensuring that children were taught each Lord’s Day, and produced a catechism in the form of a dialogue between a minister and a child, which in the French text is divided into fifty-five Sunday parts. Luther preached a sermon where he said: “We must…have ordinary pastors, who will teach the Gospel and Catechism to the young, and the ignorant.” And there are lots more examples.
The children’s talk in church is an opportunity to do this.
Here are some ways in which the children’s talk can be a strategic part of a service and ministry of a church:
1. Make it thoroughly biblical and Christ-centred.
2. Use it as an opportunity to clearly explain the gospel.
3. Use it as a way of introducing the passage that will be preached in the sermon. (I’ve done a number of kids talk that had this purpose). That way the whole church has looked at the passage including the children who go out to Sunday School.
4. Use it as a way of teaching the congregation about church history (you can find my talks on British Church History HERE) or about the life of someone from history who love Jesus (you can find some biographical kids talk HERE).
5. Use it as a way of teaching doctrine to the congregation. In 2010 I’m planning to turn Bruce Ware’s ‘Big Truths for Young Hearts’ in a series of kids talk, taking one section at a time. (They will all be posted HERE).