The senior saints have always served the coffee at our assembly between 10:30 and 11:00 am. But then something unsuspected happened. Someone had the great idea to use the young children to serve the coffee.
Supervised by an adult, several of the children of the assembly, ages 10 through 13, now serve the coffee between the services. It has been this way for a few years now and will probably stay that way for many more years, and here’s why:
1. A place for learning
The children are learning to serve in the assembly in their formative years. What better time to learn to serve others than when we are young. Malleable, enthusiastic and willing, these youngsters serve coffee with a smile. As they grow, they are experiencing that assembly life means getting involved, and that the assembly is a place where we come not to be served, but to serve. Sound familiar? (Mark 10:45)
2. Connecting generations
The children are learning all the saints’ faces and names, and the saints are learning the personalities of our children. Too many churches in Christendom have moved to a format of two, three or four services a weekend, and have divided up the body in the process. As a result, young people only meet with young people, and seniors only meet with seniors.
But the body is one and was never meant to be dissected into its component pieces. Having the young people serve coffee has facilitated the intimacy and solidarity of our assembly life, and has knit our hearts together in love (Col.2:2).
3. Growing closer
Just like their adult counterparts, the children have become closer peers as a result of serving the Lord together. How sweet it is to work together! The children are learning this at a young age, and are getting a taste of the “good life” the Lord offers to those who are willing to serve Him (John 12:26).
Meaningful conversation, working together, and hard work are all principles being taught in the kitchen of our assembly every Sunday.
4. The Lord invited children
Didn’t our Lord Jesus say, Let the little children come to Me and do not forbid them? (Mark 10:14) Wasn’t He greatly displeased with His disciples for rebuking those who brought the children? (Mark 10:13) Did He not say “of such is the kingdom of God?” Therefore, let us embrace the service of our children, thinking of ways to involve them in assembly life.
Let’s not wait until they are older either, or until they are more mature in the Lord. If they are saved, let them serve, each to his or her own capacity. If they get involved something wonderful will happen: the children will catch the vision of assembly life and will begin to commit their lives to being involved in it.
Let’s capitalize on the principle Solomon observed long ago, and raise a generation that serves the Lord through the assembly – “train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).