It is a truth universally acknowledged that those with young children will struggle to get shoes on and wriggly bottoms into car seats first thing on a Sunday morning. For whatever reason, the words “It’s time to go” become “It’s time to move slow”, and before we know it, we’re running late to church again. Ironically, however, we can learn some of the best ‘life lessons’ from children (especially toddlers)! Even in the car on the way to church.

Every Sunday as we drive, Miss 3 likes to ask, “Who are we going to see at church today, Mum?” We then proceed to list the names of people she might expect to see that day.

Another of my favourite toddlerisms thus far has been her abbreviation of McDonald’s; “Macca’s House”. Not long after coining the phrase, Miss 3 grilled me on another drive to church about who we’d see that day, and after listing ‘Mia’, replied, “We’re going to Mia’s house!”

Funnily enough, in a way she was right!

Firstly, she eagerly looks forward to seeing her church family, as evident in her desire to learn people’s names. And secondly, as a member of the family of God, church is not just “God’s house”, it’s also “Mia’s house”; and it’s your house too, if you choose to trust in Jesus. It’s not about the physical building we meet in, church is all about relationships with people and our great Saviour!

It is such a joy to see our children accepted as members of the family of God at St Michael’s. It’s one reason why Dave and I were delighted to baptise our kids earlier this year. We truly believe raising our kids in partnership with our church family is the best way for them to grow as disciples and shine as lights for Him.

Now, St Michael’s is quite large and unique, with six congregations across two locations. As a big church family, it’s easy to slip into thinking that no one will miss you if you don’t show up for a few weeks or months. But I want to encourage you that even little children look forward to seeing you at church. Little people care about big people!

To Miss 3, church is “Mia’s house” just as much as it’s “God’s house.” We are all members of the family of God, and co-heirs with Christ!

After all, Jesus said:

‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.’

Matthew 18:2-5

Going to church is not about me. It’s not about what I might gain by attending (or how heroic we look if we manage to get there semi-on-time with small children wearing suitable clothes!). Rather, it’s what we can give; how we can use our time at church to love God and others.

Spending quality time with the family of God is one reason why I’m so excited for our St Michael’s Day Conference (on Sunday 15 October) where we can meet all together, under one roof, at the same time! Save the date and register your family, if you haven’t already.

When we love and serve each other, and especially little children, we’re welcoming Jesus.

Lauren Russell
Communications Director (+ Mum of two!) | 9:45am