While writing this short series, I noticed that mommas had a few questions about this topic. Well, more than just a few questions. I have fielded a lot of questions over the past few weeks.
I would love to address a couple of these questions to the best of my ability. Please remember that I am but a simple minded human being with tons of flaws and shortcomings. I do not have all of the answers. I do adore my children however (which lead me to first research the biblically-soundness of Children’s Church), and I know the One who has all of the answers.
Okay, here we go…
First a couple of comments which are worth repeating.
“Very interested to see the rest of this series. Children belong where parents choose to bring them, period. They should not be made to feel unwelcome because someone prefers not to look at a child sitting in a pew or hear an occasional coo. If God can create an entire universe, die and come back to life, confuse language in thousands of people, part a sea and then bring it back down at the exact moment He desires, and create a virgin birth, He can speak to someone’s heart even if a baby coos or a child is sitting in a pew next to them.”
“I was just thinking about this the other day. We do not have a children’s church. There is a nursery for moms to take their babies to when they are fussy, and the sermon is broadcasted in there for them. But on the whole, the children are required to sit with their parents the full 2 hour service. I was watching the parents with their children one Sunday and something occurred to me. Having the children sit there, and teaching them to be quiet like that, is teaching them self-denial. In a world were kids are used to getting what they want when they want it; I found it refreshing to see these kids learn to deny self even for a couple hours.”
The following is the perspective of a single young lady. Her comment is refreshing to hear!
“In the book of Nehemiah, chapter 8 verses 1-3 indicate that there was no division when the Law of the LORD was read- the people “gathered as one man”, both men and women, and “all who could understand what they heard” to hear the reading of the Law. Children understand a lot more than adults give them credit for- (trust me, I’m an elementary school teacher!) and are capable of understanding what is going on in the service. Also, if you have Children’s Church, when/where/how are you training your little ones how to behave in the assembly and the importance and reasons for the acts of worship?
I am putting myself out there a little bit by saying this, but when I have little ones that want to come and sit with “Miss Sarah” during services, they know that they need to bring their Bibles, and something to “take notes” with for the sermon. Before services begin, I talk about what we are going to do, why we worship, and how important it is that we sing and pay attention, because we showing God we love Him. When they sit with me I give them each a songbook and help them find the songs, and have them sing with me. When it comes time for the sermon, they will “take notes” (for really little ones I will usually have them practice writing “God” or “Jesus” or something of the sort). While this may seem like “too much”, it has amazed me that keeping children actively engaged WITH you during the service is actually much easier than keeping them distracted during the service! And I have even been able to take notes myself!
(Caveat: I am not married, nor do I have children, and I do realize that having someone else’s kids sit with you is different (especially if they got the whole “I-expect-you-to-REALLY-behave-properly-since-you’re-not-sitting-with-us!” talk before the service). However, it does encourage me to realize that training in the assembly CAN be done, and NEEDS to be, if we expect our children to remain faithful to the Lord.”
Now onto a few questions that I have been asked quite often…
What do I do if I am needed during the service? (as in playing the piano)
This might be tough to hear, but as mothers, our first and most important ministry is our family. If there is no one else available to sit with your very young children while you play the piano, than most likely you should step down. Even if there is no one else available to play.
What do I do if my husband is a youth pastor and strongly feels the need for our children to participate in Children’s Church?
Honestly, we are to be submissive to our husbands unless they are asking us to sin. I would discuss this topic in great detail with my husband, and if he still doesn’t agree I would pray, and then pray some more. The Lord will work on our husband’s hearts if they are truly seeking Him.
What if we feel like sending our children to Children’s Church would be a sin? (I know that for me it definitely is.) James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” We need to be mindful of this verse when we are prayerfully making this decision with our spouse.
What do I do if my baby gets fussy?
First of all, I’ve never suggested that fussy babies should remain in service. As mothers, it is our duty to remove our baby and ourselves from the sanctuary until the baby is calm. Baby noises should not be considered distracting, but distressed baby screams are. We (mothers) are not instructed to stay in the church service at all times (as some like to believe), but we are taught to care for our children scripturally.
In the book Created To Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl, a disturbing story is told. A young missionary husband was off to help someone in need, and his wife decided to come with him. She felt that in doing so she would be helping in the Lord’s ministry. She left her infant daughter with a local family whom she thought she could trust. She was gone for around fifteen minutes, and during this time her baby was molested. So often we feel like church ministries, such as youth leadership, music ministry, and other similar church functions override our duty to physically be with our children during church. We need to remember that there is no greater ministry than our family. We might ask why God had not protected her daughter. He had sent protection, in the form of a mother, and she chose to leave her daughter.
I hope that this series has been helpful to you. I’m continually learning more about this topic myself as I seek to best serve my Lord!