For a while now, I’ve gone back and forth on bringing my children into church service with me. James and I have discussed it and see pros and cons for both. My husband is the Discipleship and Outreach Pastor at our church, and I’m the business administrator. We are heavily involved in our church and in the service, which makes it easier to use the nursery and children’s church.
Many people encouraged us to take the kids to the children’s church.
“It gives you a break.
You are then free to worship without worrying about your kids.
The kids are presented with the gospel on their level.
Children cannot sit still and stay quiet.”
Obviously, these are all assuming the church has a children’s service offered. Each of these reasons, at one point or another, have been the very reason we have kept our kids in children’s church and we have worshiped without them.
Others have encouraged us to bring them in with us.
“This will teach your children how to worship by watching you.
Children need to learn to sit still and be quiet.
Children are a joy and blessing. They should be with their parents to learn.”
These are the reasons I’ve thought hard about bringing them in the service with us. I’ve also read about children leaving the church when they go off to college and the links between that and children being out of the main service. Also, I am called to teach and train them in the way should go! I AM! Not anyone else. Me!
Now before you yell at me, I don’t think this means we cannot use the help of other people to teach and train our children… sometimes, BUT it is our responsibility to make sure they are taught and trained correctly. Anyways…
I long to see my children as a joy and blessing, always! Can I be honest? Do I always see them as a joy and a blessing? No 😦 But can I be honest again? Looking around at our society and the MANY influences we have around us, it’s not hard to see why this is even more difficult.
Being a mom is hard! It’s not for the faint at heart. But you know what isn’t helping? Facebook sayings like, “I’ve always dreamed of being a stay-at-home mom. Without kids.” And I saw this in a mom’s group!!!!! What?!? We can also see it all over our movies and television shows.
“Ugh! It’s summer. I hate having to be with my kids all summer?!
When are the kids finally going back to school?!?”
Wow… I am getting way off topic :).
We have gone back and forth on what is right for our family. OUR family!
Do I think you should take your kids out of nursery and children’s church? Your call, not mine. Do I think the nursery and children’s church are bad for our kids? Absolutely NOT!
I have decided I want to bring my kids in more. We have Sunday School, Sunday Morning Service, occasional home groups with children’s service offered, and a Wednesday night service. They are getting PLENTY of opportunities to fellowship with other children, and to hear God’s Word on their level.
My first Sunday was on June 2, 2013.
The night before, I went to the dollar store and bought them some fun goodies for the service. I knew this would be important, especially in the transition from the nursery to the main service.
Then I let Conner pack up his and Elias’ backpacks. I wanted to pump him up and get him excited about coming into service with us. He was so excited about his new backpack and could not wait to go into service so he could play with his new stuff.
Now, overall this is not my goal; for him to just want to play, but I know it will help the process.
So, the first Sunday, I took them out of the nursery after Sunday school. We went into praise and worship and I immediately gave them their backpacks. They stayed 25 minutes during praise and worship with me, by myself!!! My husband was busy doing church business. Conner was on the floor coloring and Elias was in chair and my arms and did well
I did have a teaching moment too!!! Conner was standing by me at one point, and said, “Mom do like this” and bowed his head. I said, “You know what’s great about praising and worshiping God? You can do it all kinds of ways. Bowing your head, lifting your eyes, lifting your hands, singing etc.” He got so excited and smiled! Great start I’d say!!!
This last Sunday was our second week. My goal was to not give them their backpacks until after praise and worship time. My sweet husband also adjusted his schedule so he could be in there with us more. Not the whole time, but more.
Praise and worship was a mixture of kids in mine or my husband’s arms, standing in the windows swaying, or spinning around next to the chairs. We are a work in progress. I also did my best to explain to Conner that he can dance but this time is for Jesus so that is our focus.
After praise and worship, during announcements, we got the backpacks out. Elias sat in the window with his Bible (see picture above). Conner asked another awesome question! They were announcing a Missions’ Trip our church is taking in the Fall. Conner said, “I don’t know why we do this.” WHAT?! I am not fully sure he knew what he was asking, but I LOVED that he was paying attention enough to ask such an inquisitive question! AND, had he not been in service, we wouldn’t have had this amazing conversation! Another plus to kids in service.
I explained to him how important it is for us, as Christians, to help others in need, and to share the Gospel with everyone. He thought this was so cool and seemed to understand. James is hoping to take this trip if he can get off work. How great will it be if James can go and we can teach the boys how important this is?!
The boys made it through announcements and then I took them back to the nursery. 50 minutes this time!! Twice as long as last week! We probably could have made it longer, but it is new for me too and I could tell I needed to stop in order to not lose my patience. They did great, but we were starting to make a little more noise and get antsy, and service was about to start.
I look forward to continuing this journey and sharing with you how we are learning to make it work for our family. Tomorrow, I am excited to have a guest post on this discussion from Candace at Sacred Mommyhood!!
What do you think about having children in service?