Encouraging, Living, Reaching


Should Children be in the Breaking of Bread?

Should Children be in the Breaking of Bread?
Nov 16 Tags: children | 7 Responses Print Save as PDF

Last Sunday morning was an all-time low for my family. The breaking of bread was wonderful but my kids were not! They kept whispering across me and started fighting over a colouring book. It ended with my husband taking them out and having a little chat with them.

Why not the nursery?

So why, then, do we have our children in the breaking of bread when there is a perfectly suitable nursery 30 feet away where they could play to their hearts’ content? In the past, we have used the nursery and are very grateful to the elders for providing one.

Once our children reached a certain age (they’re 7, 5 and 4 at this writing), we felt that they were old enough to sit with us in the breaking of bread. We didn’t consistently start bringing our children into the meeting until about the age of two. At that point they can be reasoned with and understand discipline. Moreover, we wanted them to learn the importance of coming together with other believers to remember the Lord (1 Cor. 11:26).

What’s the value?

You may ask yourself how a child could appreciate the breaking of bread at a young age. Here are some reasons to consider:

  • Children learn that something very important is happening. They may not get it at first, but they quickly learn that the Lord deserves our utmost respect and devotion. Understanding the details comes later, as they observe and ask questions. Our children participate in small ways, be it putting the offering in the basket or singing the hymns.
  • Children learn discipline. One reason parents may prefer to keep their children in the nursery is because they don’t want them to be a distraction. Believe me, I have been tempted to just send our children to the nursery after they misbehave, but that would only serve to reward their misbehaviour with playtime. As with all training, it takes consistency and follow-through. When our children are being a distraction, we remove them, address the issue and, most importantly, we bring them back in.
  • The assembly benefits from the presence of children. The older believers love to see the children there; it is an encouragement for them. What’s more, it frees up more ladies to be able to attend the breaking of bread if they don’t need to be on nursery duty.

These are just a few reasons why we choose to bring our children into the Breaking of Bread. The Lord Jesus said it best when He said, “let the little children come to Me“ (Mt. 19:14). Pray about it and see if maybe the Lord is encouraging you to bring your children into the Breaking of Bread.

Jannilea Ghezzi

Jannilea makes her home in Brampton with her husband, Hanniel, and their three children Manuela, Moriah and Philip. She is in fellowship at Malton Bible Chapel where she is privileged to teach a young ladies’ Sunday School class.

7 Responses to Should Children be in the Breaking of Bread?

  1. Dennis Scheifele

    I am in agreement.

  2. Michelle Hillis

    While we do value our children in the breaking of bread service, I think age 2 is a bit young to expect them to sit quietly for a whole hour. (In our assembly its an hour and 15 mins.) However, in saying that, each child is different. What we did and found successful, was staggering them in. So at the beginning of the meeting they were with us, we kept them for about 15 mins then we would take them out encourage them for sitting so well and then put them in the nursery for the remainder of the meeting. We would increase that time as they matured. What this did was teach them that the Lord’s supper was an important meeting that we loved to be at, but at the same time recognizing their stage of development and working within that. This created a positive response and atmosphere for both our children and us. Our fear in putting an expectation on our children that is beyond their developmental stage is that we will inturn create a bitter heart in them towards us and the Lord’s Supper. Each parent knows their own child’s threshold and where the line between behavior brought on by pushing them beyond their ability and them being simply naughty.

  3. Steven Faviere

    I agree…children should be in assembly meetings at all times, when realistically possible. There’s a balance needed as to when we remove them from the meeting. If it’s quiet child-like chatter, then fellow believers need to show grace and patience (it’s often the parents that are self conscious and sensitive about the noise), and the parents will gently deal with it. If it’s too loud or disruptive, then the parents should remove the child and deal with the issue at hand. Either way we need to be careful not to adopt the attitude that children are an annoyance (Matt. 19:13-15), and rejoice in the fact that “children are an heritage of the Lord” Psalm 127:3. Without them, the assembly has very little hope for the future.

  4. James

    Sister, there are few things more encouraging than to see young generations coming into that assembly. To instill in them the idea that God is first, and that He has asked His people to do this in remembrance of His Son, is simply good Christian parenting.

    As for how a child can appreciate what is going on…I know plenty of adults who don’t appreciate what is going on. I find myself appreciating it more each time we do it. But a bigger point is, who cares what they can appreciate? We don’t do this for OUR appreciation, satisfaction, edification, delight, or enjoyment (praise the Lord for his mercy and grace, that He actually allows us to enjoy all of those benefits, when we obey His command to “do this in remembrance of me”), but for His Glory. If we only were allowed to participate to the degree that we understood it, nobody would be participating.

    Good thoughts. Thanks.

  5. Elizabeth paul

    Thank you for this excellent article Jennilea.I have always felt as the family of God there should be some meetings where we are all together ( older, younger and children)
    many times we are divided into our age groups, (Sunday school,youth groups,seniors groups) and I do see the benifits of such,but there is something nice about all being together especially as we worship and give thanks to the Lord Jesus for His great sacrifice at Calvary. I do appreciate Michelle’s comment on the children’s ability to sit, some earlier than others.,and I like the way she has worked with her children to achieve this. Personally I love to hear the quiet voices of the little children ,and the older people are not really aware of it as much as the young parents think.
    Good to hear from the young sisters ,keep writing your thoughts on how you deal with these issues.

  6. Melissa

    Thanks Jannilea! Very encouraging, thoughtful and we’ll written article.

  7. Ian

    I don’t think that our Lord intended them to be anywhere else but in the meeting. Matthew 19:14-15

    “Suffer little children and forbid them not to come unto me…”

    I can’t see there being a nursery for children to be separated when our Lord taught and fed the five thousand.

    “And He laid His hands on them”

    It seems they were brought as close to The Lord as possible.

Leave a Reply