Sunday, April 10, 2016

Kids in Big Church


A couple weeks ago I posted this photo on the The Gospel-Centered Mom Facebook page. A friend had taken it while visiting another church. 

I was floored by the flood of responses. 

Yes, there was controversy. Most parents feel strongly about the topic. But overwhelmingly the responses reflected encouraged moms. It was like a huge weight had been lifted. I credit that feeling to two profound truths that were acknowledged in this simple brochure:


1. Training kids how to sit in church is a process. It will be messy and uncomfortable at times. 

2. The benefits outweigh the struggle. Keep it up, parents. It's worth it. 

Do you agree? I want to put it out there to you moms. What are the benefits to having your kids sit in big church? Is it worth the challenges? Do you think it's biblical? Consider the following two passages. Do they relate? How? 


Deuteronomy 6:6-7 You shall teach My words diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 

Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Please comment below and tell us what you think! 

"The Gospel-Centered Mom" Bible study is a must-have for busy moms who want to be in the Word. Get your copy on Etsy or Amazon.



7 comments:

  1. I completely agree. My husband is the pastor and has a screen on the overhead welcoming people into church and has a brief explanation about children in the service. We have a handout in the foyer with more information about the biblical reasons for it and also have fill in the blank bulletins with crayons for kids. It hopefully keeps the older kids engaged in the service, asking what the passage of the sermon is about, what songs were sung, etch. We do have a nursery for 2 and under, but currently is only in use when we have visitors who want it because all of our members have chosen to keep their children in the service. We are blessed to have a cry room separated by glass with sound brought in those who wish to nurse or rock a baby to sleep. It is nice to have also for special need children who might need help with something, medication, or can't sit still. This setup can be hard for new people who are not used to it. Some love it, others hate it. Hopefully it gets them thinking about children role in worship whether they decide it is the right church for them or not. There are times, honestly, when I would just like to hear a sermon from start to finish without having to keep 3 toddlers still. But now that my daughter is five she is much more involved, singing songs asking about elements in our liturgy and I am so blessed that I stuck with it.

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    1. Thanks, Samantha! It's great to hear from a pastor's wife - and one with her own group of little ones. :) I love the things your church does to include the children in worship. I'm sure it goes a long way in helping people who might not be used to that concept.

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  2. I agree to an extent. My husband and I find that we don't get much out of the sermon if the kids are in there with us the whole time. We keep them in through worship hour (this is a great way for them to participate without their noise and questions disturbing other people). Then we transition them to the nursery for the Bible teaching hour.

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    1. Yes, it is difficult to absorb anything deep with little ones around! But I've learned that my brain has adjusted to a certain extent. Kind of like how my body adjusted to so little sleep when the kids were infants. And at least this is just a short phase. :)

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  3. This is one of those areas where there isn't "law" laid down in the Bible, so I guess it will depend on the format of the service and how disruptive parents may be tempted to feel their children will be. For a more formal style service (which this seems to be), then I think it's a really good idea to help parents, and the rest of the congregation, remember that children are children and are very welcome in church.
    I also think that children's engagement with church will depend a lot on the relationships they have with the wider church family, and that will come down to more than just how they engage with a Sunday service. When people in church take an active interest in children's lives and try to really get to know them, church will be a place where children are much more keen to be, in my experience. We posted some thoughts about this kind of thing a little while ago on our blog - check it out for more thoughts than can be included in a comment - http://www.gospelcentredparenting.com/whats-the-churchs-role-in-raising-a-child/
    (Decided to comment here too as that's what you asked for!)

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    1. Good point! When we welcome a new baby into our congregation, our congregation is charged with praying for that little one and encouraging them in the Lord. It's good to remember that the children are part of the church body, not in a separate category.

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  4. That is why kids have the power to enlighten the house by spreading their laughter. Parents can go beyond all the limits to bring smile on their children's faces.
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