Children in church

Update: Here’s another helpful article, which deals with some criticisms of this position, written after what follows was posted: Mark Jones - Shall children listen to sermons?

Recently, Stephen preached a couple of sermons about Public Worship. In the second sermon, he focused on the question of whether children should be in worship or not.

As promised in the sermon, below are a number of helpful resources on both the theology and practice of having children in worship from as early an age as possible, as well as a number of related issues. Note that a link isn’t necessarily an endorsement of the author or everything they have written.


Rich Holdeman (RPCNA) - Where should your children be during worship?

Daniel R. Hyde - Training children in worship

R. Scott Clark - The mystery of children’s church

Jeremy Walker - Attendance of children in public worship

John & Noël Piper - The family: together in God’s presence

John Piper - Should children sit through big church? (audio below)

Chad Bird - The church doesn’t need children’s church

Micah Anglo / Carl Trueman - How skipping church affects your children

Erik Raymond - Helping children benefit from the sermon

Scott Brown - Why You Ought to Have Your Children With You in Church

Ben Zornes - Corralling the kids as an act of worship

Christina Embree - Church is boring

Nick Batzig - Five reasons to keep the kids in

Tricia Gillespie - Teach kids to sit still

David Robertson - Children, the family and the church

Nicholas Davis - Let the little children come into big church

Neil Stewart - Remember, remember


Robbie Castleman - Parenting in the Pew

Daniel R. Hyde - The Nursery of the Holy Spirit

Jason Helopoulos - Let the Children worship

Previous sermons

Stephen has previously touched on this topic in sermons on Mark 10:13-16 - once at a baptism the week we started our current crèche (where he explained the intention that children would need it for as short a time as possible), and once as part of a series on Mark’s gospel.

Both times he quoted Gordon Keddie, formerly the RPCS minister in Wishaw and now in America, who said:

‘One of the huge errors in Scotland been the banishment of children from church life until they were in their teens. At which time they rightly said if you didn't need us till now, you won't need us from here on’.


James Torrens (Highland International Presbyterian Church) gave two very helpful talks at the IPC British Presbytery in September 2018. They are available to listen to on the IPC website.


Teaching children reverence and joy in worship


Last Saturday, Lydia, Hannah, Daniel, Carla and Willow went over to Northern Ireland for the annual Family Day Conference. This year, the RPCNA's David Whitla (who was the speaker at our Firm Foundations weekend In October) was speaking on the subject 'Teaching children reverence and joy in worship'.

You can listen to the audio of the talk above. Click here to view the accompanying Powerpoint Presentation.