Thursday, November 4, 2010

Children in the Church

A few weeks ago we found ourselves in a different town on a Sunday morning. We figured we'd check out a church in the area that we had heard some good things about. A very, very large church. A mega-church is not our type of church but we're open to trying something new. We drove up and there were tons of greeters, plenty of smiles and warm welcomes. We walked into the atrium (about the size of Texas) and were quite overwhelmed by all the people, tv's, music, so much going on. As we were deciding if we should sit in the balcony or not, a greeter came over with a big smile on her face and asked if we knew where to take the children. I replied that it was our first time visiting and we were just going to keep them with us. (We often keep at least the baby with us even at our own church.) With the smile on her face she then said, "Oh, ok, so then you'll be worshiping here in the atrium." WHAT??!! My husband said, "What do you mean?" and she told us that children are not allowed in the sanctuary until 6th grade. Again, WHAT??!!

"Let the little children come unto me..."

We did not stay for the service. A church that does not welcome children is not the place for us. When we got home I went on their website and looked up their children's ministry. It details how they have a special kids ministry dedicated to teaching them about Jesus on their level. It says they are so passionate about kids learning about Jesus in a way they can understand they do not allow them in the main sanctuary. Not even babies. They have a special room for moms and babies.

Now I understand that children can become disruptive during service. I have 3. I know they wiggle. I also understand that if I take them in service with me that I h
ave to take responsibility to take them out if they begin to disrupt others. But to forbid them to come in.... that just breaks my heart and angers me.

We have been in the process of looking for a church or starting a small home church. We have struggled, prayed, anguished, and gone through many different emotions as we've decided to leave our church we've attended the last 3 years. God is taking us on a new path, a new chapter of our lives. And without a doubt we know that we will go to a church that accepts children.

"... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."


  1. That makes me so sad. Mega churches have never been my thing either...I try hard not to be judgmental, but they all have the connotation of being a business and not a place a worship. I've seen this is many.

    I love that at my church all of my little siblings can be right there worshiping our Lord with me!

  2. Oh boy I have so much to say on this issue! We've been asked to leave churches because we wouldn't put our children in their programs. Our kids weren't making any noise or causing any trouble, but they "could" keep someone from worshiping if they made noise so they couldn't be there. I wonder how they think the early churches did it....all crowded into homes with the babies and the animals right outside. Seriously.

    It's so sad to me. Kylee is right; it's like a business. We have had homechurch for the past several years. It's not always perfect, but it is real and we get to know each other and have grown through our struggles. We can't avoid noises and irritants. We have to work through them. That's how we grow! Lisa~

  3. What a post! Wow... I have only belonged to small churches since having my kids... they have always been welcomed. Actually the pastor almost scolded me once when I tried to quiet my baby during his sermon. No Grace... let her cry... this is as much her house as ours... Loved It.

    Praying you find the right church family for YOUR family...

  4. Oh, no, no, no... good for you for turning around and leaving! It might not make a dent THERE, but your KIDS saw it. And they're who you're called to minister to first and foremost anyway.

    People don't realize how much children can understand and underestimate "their level." I'm amazed by my boys even at 6. One more plus to homeschooling - you see it!

  5. Thank you for sharing....really really good to read and I feel THE SAME WAY YOU DO! Thank you, Alli