The children in the Iglesia ni Cristo are taught to recognize and value their primary obligation to worship God, as part of His nation.
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Children's worship service

Letter to the Editor:
PASUGO, December 2003, p.2

MY NEIGHBORS ARE Church of Christ members.  Every Sunday, I observe that their little children are dressed in formal attire and attend to what they call Pagsamba ng Kabataan. Unlike children in my religion, these children attend such Sunday activity regularly and on time prescribed by your Church. Is this Pagsamba ng Kabataan really necessary?   I've heard from a friend who is also a member of your church that all your doctrines are anchored and based on the Bible.  What is your biblical basis for having this worship service for children?

Lorie Gabriel
Villasis, Pangasinan, Philippines

Editor's reply:

Concerning little children, the Bible commands us to train them in the right way:

“Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. (Prov. 22:6, New revised Standard Version)

As part of their training or upbringing, the primary values we need to teach and instill in the children in the Church are recognizing and valuing their primary obligation to worship God, as part of His nation (Ps. 95:6-7): recognizing and trusting the Lord as their only hope (Ps. 71:5); and remembering God in the days of their youth (Eccl. 12:1).

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. (Ps. 95:6-7, NKJV)

“O Lord, you alone are my hope; I’ve trusted you from childhood.” (Ps. 71:5, Living Bible, emphasis ours)

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” (Eccl. 12:1, King James Version, emphasis ours)

Bear in mind that Christ has a commandment to feed His lambs or young sheep:

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah,[b] do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”  He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah,[c] do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”  (Jn. 21:15-16, New King James Version, emphasis ours)

By the term “sheep”, the Lord means those in the flock:

“I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (Jn. 10:16, New International Version)

Apostle Paul expounds that the flock is the Church of Christ which was purchased by Christ through His blood.

“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).

The “sheep” mentioned by Christ therefore refers to the members of the Church of Christ, and by the term “lambs”, the Lord thus refers to the young or little members of the Church.

To feed the “lambs” is to teach them the words of God, for God’s words are the foods of our soul (Ps. 107:9; Jer. 15-16; Mt. 4:4). In the Pagsamba ng Kabataan (Children’s Worship Service), the children in the Church are taught the words of God, for part of this holy occasion is studying God’s will (I Cor. 14:26, 15). They are dressed in formal attire because the occasion is holy as the Bible teaches:

 “Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O Lord, for evermore.” (Ps. 93:5, Revised Standard Version)

“Worship the LORD in holy array; tremble before him, all the earth!” (Is. 96:9, Ibid.)

Children in the Church are trained and guided to attend the worship service regularly for the apostles admonish the true worshipers not to neglect such gathering (Heb. 10:25).

 One of the characteristics of the true congregational worship is its orderliness, (I Cor. 14:26, 40). To observe orderliness, there is a scheduled time when the worshipers must convene themselves to praise the Lord. The setting of the schedule of this kind of worship is done by the Church administration, for they are given the authority to decide on matters concerning service to God (Mt. 18:19). This is why parents or guardians in the Church are rearing their children not only to value their attendance in worship service, but also to observe punctuality in performing such duty.



Bible Study Suggestion: If you have further questions, please feel free to visit the Iglesia ni Cristo congregation nearest you. A minister or an evangelical worker would be happy to answer any biblical question you have in mind. For the latest Worship Service Directory of Iglesia ni Cristo Locales and Congregations outside the Philippines, please visit www.iglesianicristoworshipservice.com or just click link at home page.

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