What do the three things above have to do with each other? A lot it seems.
Have you noticed that the body of Christ in many, particularly larger churches, has morphed into a series of “departments”: children’s, youth, men’s, women’s, singles and etc. Sadly this is also, too often, reflected in worship services. Children have their own “Children’s Church”, youth have theirs and so on.
I am told that many modern parents don’t want to be annoyed by their children in church.
To be honest, this is a tragic state of affairs and the church can only be poorer for it. The church should be the epitome of an integrated, mutually dependent body, functioning for each other’s good and promoting the Kingdom as one in the world – not a loose connection of independent limbs.
The industrial model may work well on assembly lines but not the church. The older members need to be reminded of the calling they have to nurture the young through word and example. The young remind the older members of the wonder and naïveté of faith. We need each other. We weren’t meant to be separated – just as a family is not meant to be compartmentalised.
Of course there are times when separate activities are sound and worthwhile, but this shouldn’t characterise the church. To have integrated worship services and activities can be difficult. It requires us to think carefully about the needs of each member and their relationship to the whole. But isn’t that the very challenge that makes it worthwhile! And finally, how many Sunday Schools, Youth services, and specialist departments can you find in the New Testament. I could only find one, the Deacons.