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November 17, 2005

Children in The Pew: The Practicalities

Over at the Heart to Hearth blog, there are several recent posts with principled and pragmatic ideas about worshiping together with our children during church services. Read the full posts, and be encouraged!



Jesus said, "Suffer little children
, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 9:17 NASB). Little children are loved dearly by God, and it's good to bring them to Him and to worship Him, but we should keep in mind that it's our job as parents to come alongside and guide them and teach them and help them learn in ways that will help nurture their trust and love in God our Father, our Abba Daddy.

--flowermama


Our expectation when we attend worship service is that we are worshipping as a family. I expect to be actively parenting in the pew. I expect to miss some of the sermon at time. I expect my children to whisper questions to me or my toddler to need to nurse. I expect that this is a process, a journey that will take time. I expect that my parenting cannot stop in the pew. When I have that expectation, I can joyfully minister to my family in the most intimate environment of all….worship!

--Quietspirit


Related Links:
Children in Congregational Worship
Children in Church
Family Worship

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Comments

Good article, thanks for posting the link!

Posted by: HomespunHeart at November 18, 2005 07:24 AM

Hi TulipGirl,

One of the things both my wife and I like about the new church we are attending is the view the church takes with children. The Sunday School for children is structured so that the child will be in one Sunday School period, not two (if the parents go to the church service and then an adult Sunday School class.) Therefore our children attend the service with us and then go to their Sunday School class, as we go to ours.

Something the church does that really makes it interesting for the kids in the services is they take 10 minutes out of the service to invite all the kids up front and one of the church leadership will have a mini lesson just for the kids, (as it is videoed to the jumbo screen behind them, which intrigues my three year old son to no end.)

Our old church had no corporate worship opportunities for the kids, and printed in the bulletin on a weekly basis, a reminder about all the different nurseries that are available for use, and to please use them if the kids are interrupting anyone’s worship. Quite a different perspective. But then again, this was the same church we went to the senior pastor to get Ezzo materials successfully removed from the adult SS class (we made lots of friends doing that;), who many of the mothers sung the praise of Pearl at the different mothers functions, and the final straw that sent us packing was the invitation to Tripp to come speak and hold a weekend conference.


{{{Candleman}}}

Posted by: Candleman at November 19, 2005 01:41 AM

As a child I was expected to sit still & be quiet during Sunday meeting. I was allowed to read, write or draw. I am grateful to my parents in enforcing this as it taught me to listen, to think, to read. With my 3 children I expected the same & I have always disliked the churches I have visited that automatically assumed the children be dumped out in child care/Sunday School. The kids, now adults, appreciate what we did as they grew, & are all (thank God) sensible, creative believers.

Posted by: Marion at November 19, 2005 08:28 PM

I'm a bit behind here, but I was just browsing your blog, TulipGirl. Until recently, we'd always had our three-year-old in church with us, and she always sat remarkably well and either participated or "read" books. But once she got a taste of church nursery (with toys, food, and art supplies we don't have at home), she was hooked. I do sense that if my husband and I put our foot down and actually decided to keep her in church with us, she'd comply (but not without much sadness and whining). We're in a new area, so we're still visiting new churches every Sunday. I've not found a single one that has children in church. I *have* found plenty that nearly force parents with young children to either use the nursery or leave the sanctuary altogether.

So, getting to my question: if you go to a church that does have nursery, how does your child react to that knowledge? Is he/she upset? I'm afraid Maya will resent sitting in church while other little children get to slide down the teeny slide and do other fun things. I know that this resentment would likely be temporary, but kids will be kids--I'd hate to have her upset about this until she's mature enough to understand how important worship is.

Posted by: serina at January 10, 2006 03:12 PM


 
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