A Little Ray of Sunshine

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Why the boys don't go to 'Children's Church'

If you go to any sort of mainstream church, you will find some sort of 'Children's Church'. Something that takes the little brats out of the church service, usually after the Bible Reading and before the Sermon.
We go to church with my mother, at the local Methodist church. We're none of us members, though Mom has gone there since I was about twelve or so, and that's where I've gone whenever I've been in this town. (My husband was raised Southern Baptist.)
So, about a quarter to a third of the way through the service, the preacher calls the children up front and talks to them a bit about some Bible story or another, or maybe asks them why they think God does this or that and then explains what the Bible says about it, and our pastor is very good with children (his first is a few months younger than our second). Which is fine with us. Then someone, usually one lady, takes all the little munchkins out of the service. Let's think about this: one adult, 4-20 children, depending on the Sunday. Yes, that's right, we might have as many as 20 smaller children, fourth grade and under, and one overworked adult. Now sometimes one or two of the sixth grade girls will go along to help, but they don't make much difference.
I went along with the boys one day, with the excuse of seeing if Hemi were ready for this experience. The children were running wild in the church gym, while the lady supposedly in charge was begging them to sit down and pay attention. A couple athletic little tykes climbed up on the bars that protect the windows from stray balls. Of course I told my husband what I observed and added that I didn't want the boys to be there. Naturally, he agreed. (He always does when I make a sensible decision, and generally I do.)
The only person who has said anything at all about this is my mother. I quietly (and away from church) explained what I'd seen going on, and she's kept her mouth shut since. Which for her is a rare display of tact. She does benefit from getting to hold one grandson or the other on her lap during service, and I'm sure she enjoys having them compete for who gets to sit on Nana's lap.
By the way, the pastor's son stays with the pastor's wife during the service. She, like us, sits near the back of the church so she can slip out when he gets unruly or cranky. I wish there were something better for the other children, but the parents don't want to deal with their behavior, so what can be done? They are always misbehaving anyway, and the parents don't require them to stop. I can see why people think children disrupt church, but the reason is not that they're children, it's that their parents permit them to.


  • At 12:39 PM, February 02, 2006, Blogger CrazyJo said…

    I feel the same way about putting kids in Children's church. I've on occasion put my son in nursery, but I prefer not to. The church we were going to in TN fortunately had a lot of families that kept their children in the service, so unless he was pretty fussy it was no big deal.


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