Kids and Church Services

Am I going against my word? In the ABOUT page of this blog you will read that I do not want to weigh in on the (often heated) debate over the inclusion and involvement of kids in church services. There are many factors that influence this decision such as the size of the congregation, numbers and spread of ages of the kids, the availability of volunteer teachers and the venue (what facilities are there for a kids church service or Sunday School program, or even the ability to have all the adults and kids in the one room at the same time!). This often come before the varied biblical convictions and/or family preferences of those who have the power of decision over such matters. Given that any of the above factors could easily change, I think we should hold fast to a principle of kids/youth in church services and hold looser to the strategy. This allows the strategy to change in response to changing variables while still holding to the same principle.

I suggest the following as a principle for a church to adopt before deciding a strategy:

Principle:
Discipling and equipping kids for membership – into God’s heavenly kingdom and into a locally gathered body (church).

As (God willing) a church grows/changes, it can then adjust its strategy accordingly.

 


Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?
If you do, then I’m sure others would too. 

Please SHARE these posts, and in doing so pray for a generation of kids who have had the gospel of Jesus taught & modelled to them by their parents.

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Punctuality implies Priority

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  1. Not taking a child to their sports game or performance implies you don’t care.
  2. Turning up late with your child to their sports game or performance implies the priority is very low.
  3. Getting your child to their sports game or performance just as it starts implies you are only interested in their performance and not the whole team/production.
  4. Arriving early with your child to their sports game or performance implies you value them and the team/production they are involved in.

 

In general, how do you score in set 1? Assuming you love your children, I’m guessing you aim for #4,

  1. Not turning up to church implies you don’t care.
  2. Turning up late to church implies the priority is very low.
  3. Getting to church just as it starts implies you are only interested in the bit you like and not the whole body.
  4. Arriving early at church implies you value the body and support the purposes of a gathered church.

In general, how do you score in set 2? What priorities do you want your children to learn from you?

Aiming for #4 in set 1, and achieving <4 in set 2  implies you value your children more than God and His gathered body – this is idolatry. Thank Christ for forgiveness and His transforming spirit.

Seek repentance, pray for forgiveness, plan for change.

After some tips to get to church earlier? Try these.

 


Do you find these posts helpful in parenting to the Glory of God?
If you do, then I’m sure others would too. 

Please SHARE these posts, and in doing so pray for a generation of kids
who have had the gospel of Jesus taught & modelled to them by their parents.

 

Churching with a baby – Crèche v’s Crying Room?

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Crying rooms are convenient in the short term, settling a baby/toddler into crèche is better in the long term.

Crying rooms serve the parent with a crying baby, but not the other people who also want to hear the sermon with a babe-in-arms. Other parents will have gone there to feed without the distractions of church or give their child a quiet place to sleep. Both of these are undone when a crying or unsettled baby enters. My experience has been these crying rooms (with the sermon wired through to speakers) end up being a place where parents chat and don’t actually listen to the sermon anyway.

Crèche rooms, set up with toys and activities to entertain a clean and fed baby/toddler, allow them to be noisy and entertained. Carers often will sing songs, read books and play with the children while Mum and/or Dad can be involved in the church meeting. This time will help babies develop socialising and motor skills, exploring more of the world God has made for them.

Can the two be merged? Is it successful having an audio feed into a crèche? Here’s why I think it doesn’t work:

  • the kids will now have an adult voice filling the audio space instead of kids music, significantly altering the mood of the room,
  • the kids will still be noisy, so a parent will have a lot of trouble listening anyway,
  • most parents will have conversations with the carers and/or other parents and not listen to the sermon anyway.

If listening to the sermon is the goal, I’d suggest investing the time to settle your child into crèche with other adult carers and listening to the sermon during the week*. It may take a few weeks (or months for some) but it will not be forever. Another option to find the content of the sermon if you cannot listen to it later is to ask your spouse to summarise the talk and discuss it over a coffee/dessert after the kids are in bed. Trust me, this will NOT be detrimental to your marriage!

If listening to the sermon IS the goal, then this post may be helpful.
Churching with a baby – Is is worth it?

* Modern technology means we barely have to make any effort to find and listen to sermons at a time we can concentrate.