Last Sunday was our third Sunday bringing the boys in service. I was a little nervous we would be “starting over,” since we had missed service the week before due to illness.
After Sunday School, I went to get the boys from their classes. Conner ran ahead as I got Elias. When I made it into the sanctuary, Conner was already at our seats waiting on the sill of the frosted windows. I was relieved he remembered and seemed excited! Elias joined him happily!
As we had the week before, they were not allowed into their backpacks during praise and worship. They did great! In our arms, in the chairs, in my purse, dancing, clapping, on the bench. At one point I caught Elias dancing in front of me with his hand in the air like someone he was watching! LOVED it! Tried to catch a picture but he moved on too quick.
I did have to walk out with Elias twice. Once during praise and worship, and the other during announcements or service… I can’t remember. We walked out and I told him he could not yell out when we were supposed to be sitting quietly. I wanted to make it clear it was not just because we are in a church service because I want this to carry over for weddings, funerals, graduations, and other quiet events we may attend.
Once praise and worship ends, James and I usually rush to pass out our attendance notebooks during announcements. James was going to stay with the boys while I did it this week, but Conner wanted to come. I thought, “Well of course!” Serving together in our church is such a blessing, and I desperately want my children to learn to serve in the ministry and not resent it for taking their parents away.
So Conner and I went over to get the notebooks. I carried them for him to give to the first person in each row. He was a bit abrupt hitting their arm with it, but almost everyone had a wonderful smile when they turned to see a sweet THREE year old serving in his church!
I can just imagine… how different would our church look if everyone was teaching their children, at a young age, to start serving and worshiping together. Ahhhh 🙂
CALM DOWN… I am NOT condemning you for not bring your children in service, just a sweet thought of what could be if we all did…
After we sat down to listen to announcements, Ne (knee as the boys call her), came to join us for the service. Ne, aka Tina, is like a second mom to both James and I. She loves our kids as her own grand kids! AND, she is conveniently a HUGE supporter of bringing the boys in service. James has to leave us a lot during service, so I sat on one end and Ne set on the opposite side. Elias was in her lap much of the service. He was (mostly) quiet and Conner did well in his own seat, until about 10-15 minutes before service was over. Conner began to beg to go to the nursery.
We are soooo close! I am not going to take them to nursery now! We are almost through service! We CAN do this!
How about a snack? Good thinking! Too bad I forgot to bring some. Fortunately, I know that the nursery always has snacks for the kids.
I told Conner I would get him a snack. He began to loudly get angry and demand to go to the nursery. Well, surely we all know by now, he was certainly NOT going to the nursery now. Then he would know all he had to do was get loud and angry. I whispered in his ear that he was staying in service with or without a snack, and if he would like a snack then he needed to stop throwing a fit. It worked! Whew!
Ran to the nursery and brought the snacks in. WOO HOO! They were both happy and sat the remaining time during service, even after finishing their snack.
So, to sum up. How did it all go down? Praise and worship – offered nothing to distract them and conveniently a louder time so they don’t have to be completely hush-hush, meet and greet – Conner asks to go see his Wednesday night teacher, so we let them go say hello to people, announcements – began getting the backpacks out and let Conner serve with me, service – backpacks and snacks!
We made it through to the very end!!! I was ecstatic! Loving this and feeling so much closer to my kids and God in the process!
Did you decide to transition your kids into service after they were in children’s church? If so, share what worked for you? Are you thinking about? What’s holding you back?