There is an unfortunate implication in some faith communities that the "real" church is comprised of adults who gather for worship. Children are treated as "future worshippers" -- people who will be able to worship when they grow up. John Witvliet says it well: "How ironic that children, of all people, should be treated as second-class citizens in the church. Jesus not only welcomed children, but told us that children are our teachers. Children model what true faith is like. When children are cut off or set apart from the worshipping community, both children and adults lose the opportunity to learn from each other."
Artisan is a worshipping community that desires to make public worship something that is done by the whole community, adults and children together. Does this mean we will never give children opportunity to participate in separate, age-specific Bible teaching and worship times? No. We will provide such teaching beginning mid-way through the vast majority of our gatherings. Does this mean that we should plan child-centered services that ignore adult concerns and issues? Not at all. Instead, we will seek to be creative in our worship planning, so as to enable as much as possible the participation of adults and children alike.
Simplicity, honesty, generosity, imagination, trust. Jesus saw such attributes in the children he brought to himself in the Gospel stories. What if our children could help the rest of us embody such things in greater measure?