I recently read “Anglicanism is Christianity for Adults.” (citation below) I found that comment to be a touch snarky at first (even though I appreciated it). Then I found it off-putting – what about kids? Is this why the Church is aging without replacing itself? Then I thought – No, it is correct. Anglicanism requires one to think. Anglicanism requires one to participate. Anglicanism demands a sense of responsibility. Anglicanism expects a response. These are adult qualities. These are the qualities we want to imbue our children with – these are the very qualities we want our children to develop. We do not want our children to remain kids forever. We want them to grow into quality adults. There is no better adult than a dedicated mature Christian. There is no better place for a child to grow into an Adult Christian than in an environment that fosters adult Christianity.
Welcome Children into your congregations. Welcome their parents. Don’t send them out during worship – you might not ever get them back. They are as much a part of the body of Christ as the more senior member – how will they grow into adulthood unless they are among the adults? How will they learn the skills of adult Christian living if sent away from adult Christians?
Martin Thornton, “The Caroline Divines and the Cambridge Platonists.” In The Study of Spirituality, edited by Cheslyn Jones, Geoffrey Wainwright, & Edward Yarnold (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1986), 434.