Join us...

... if you'd like, as the dialogue continues regarding having our children sit with us in church. If you click on the link above and scroll down to the comments, you'll find it.

I realize there are a lot of passionate thoughts surrounding this topic (mine included), so if you choose to comment please do so in a spirit of humility and graciousness.



  1. Wow! I'm gone from your blog for a day or two and look what happens....discussion breaks out!

    I would first like to say that our family is very blessed to be members of a church that greatly values my comments come from that bias/background. My children have each been taught in Sunday school and children's church by some of the most loving, devoted, amazingly gifted teachers...Rita, Margaret, Phil, Vaughnie, Pam...just to name a few. In addition, at our church the children have an organized church service...with worship singing, offering, communion and message. And, if there is a baptism or a special announcement, the children join us in the worship service at that time. If my kids were just running around, being loud and having snacks...I would probably feel differently.

    As it is, I have come to love (and greatly value) BOTH the time we spend as a family together in church, and the time we spend apart. I want my children to learn from Chad and I (through actual teaching, and through observation)....but I am also thankful for the opportunity they have to see others worship/serve publicly in a way that may differ from what Chad and I do.

    Over the years, I have spent some Sunday mornings focused intently on teaching my children to sit respectfully (or frantically searching for which pocket I put the little picture book in) and other Sundays focused intently on what God has to say to me from the mouth of our pastor, unaware that there is another person seated in the enitre sanctuary....because this is a word for ME. I wouldn't trade either experience.

    My favorite of all scenarios (and one that our church has used in the past, although is unfortunately not using now) is similar to what Dan described...having the children dismissed to their service mid-way through the regualr worship service. I was grateful for Dan's email, and Carrie's comments, because I do believe there is a "flip side" to this coin.

    I think this type of discussion has the potential to be of great benefit...or it can be used by Satan to cause division and hard feelings...which is clearly not edifying anyone (and I know that is the LAST thing you would desire from this). I totally agree with you, Stacy, that we can benefit and learn from one another....and I believe the key really is to remain humble and in the right spirit.

    As long as you agree with everything I have to say...... wink! =)

  2. For the sake of discussion...right.. I think it can all be beneficial, because we can all learn from each other through what God has laid on each of our hearts. However, I never knew this topic would spark so much discussion, but it's good, it's making me think! But I did want to address one thing, so bear with me for a moment as I expand... First of all, every church is different and what works for one doesn't work for another, just like families. Our church for the most part I feel does a good job of including the children, they are always present during baptisims and on the last Sunday of every month, we don't offer those children's programs so that each family can be together for the morning worship service, they also do this for the summer month of July. So, for my children, they are getting exposed to both. They know how sit quietly and attentively. They are very aware of how our service works, meet and great, music, offering, communion. They know everyone involved in the service, Minister, worship leader, etc. and know them by name. They are familiar with every part of our church building. I guess I see a great benefit to both and I feel God can bless that time for your kids and yourself whether you are together or apart. That's a decision that your family has to make. My comment about having my kids feel as though they are more part of a church family might be explained by the example of a small group. Recently, a lady in our church who has been attending for a few years with her husband spoke about her small group. She said that even though she and her husband had been attending our church, felt very welcomed and loved there was still something missing. During these couple of years her husband had major medical issues, to the point they thought he may not make it, anyway, she commented how our church had helped out financially and supported them during this time and what a blessing we as a church had been to them. However, they did not really feel connected until the last few months when they had joined a small group. She said it has made them more accountable and connected and they had grown so much spiritually in these past few months, and these are not "baby christians" So I guess my point is more that in a way, my kids' class time is kind of like their "small group" time, where they can share their personal prayer requests and be heard, where they can build those more intimate relationships. It is just another way for them to be ministered to and feel connected. But, there are many ways to do this I know, and again, I am not saying this is the best, just what works for us. Sorry for going on so much, just wanted to explain myself, especially since I'm feeling a little alone on this side, except for Michelle :) and Dan!

  3. The questions this discussion makes me want to consider are:
    -Who is our worship for?
    -How does He say He wants to be worshiped in His Word?
    -What precedent can we find in our Bibles for separating ages for worship?
    -Is it an American thing or a Biblical thing?

    I believe Worship is for God’s glory first and foremost. I can find nowhere in His Word where he says He is better glorified when His people are segregated by age. But there are several places in scripture where we are explicitly told that all ages were there for the dialog between God and His people (God’s speaks, His people worship). Also, places where we are told that we are not to keep the children from him (I know that is not what children’s church is trying to do, but it does make the implication that it is practice, not the real thing.)
    I can not say I know exactly how God wants to be worshiped but it is clear from scripture that He takes it seriously (remember Uzzah, or Nadab and Abihu?) and I want to be careful to do so also for His glory by asking these hard questions and searching His Word for the answers.
    Are we taking our children out because they can’t worship God? No, we are told to worship like them! Is it because they are not smart enough to worship God? If that extended beyond age then the logical extension would be to exclude people of lesser intelligence too. Is it because we need it to be more quiet or more still? Again, if it is for God that we worship and He has invited them…
    As for what God has for us, it will be His Word. And the beauty of God’s Word is that it is profitable for everyone from conception until death. And if it is not God’s Word that you are receiving then that is another problem all together.
    Lastly, our view of worship should be such that our children do not want to miss out –they want to worship the God that made us all ages, who’s image is expressed in all ages, who died for us and will come back for us to take us home at various ages.
    Important things to think about,

  4. What an interesting discussion! I missed this ...

    I'll keep it short since our little girl is still in the church nursery :-) We will have our children sit with us in church. Our nursery goes from infant to age two, and at that point, we will bring our daughter into the service.

    I still remember sitting with my parents in church with my offering and my notebook. I drew what the pastor was preaching about, and I looked up verses in my little Bible. I sang loudly right along with my parents. During the week, we would discuss the sermon in family devotions. I would proudly read what I had written ... in fact, I still have these notes! I can't wait until my daughter sits with us and I can have some of these same experiences with her.

    Our church doesn't have a separate service for the children. We have Sunday School classes, but morning and evening worship as well as prayer meeting includes the whole family.

    What a wonderful discussion ... I have loved reading everyone's "take" on the issue!
    Guess I didn't keep it short after all!!!

  5. Oh! i meant to add also that I appreciate the spirit in which everyone is writing their opinions. I respect all of the choices that you all have made for your families even if they don't mirror mine!!


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