Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Can I Bring My Kids to the Adult Worship Service?

We have many parents who ask or even just wonder about this question.  The simple answer is yes, you have the right to make this decision for your family.  Parents may choose to do this for a number of reasons -- a desire to worship as a family, a child who is fearful of going to class, a parent who is fearful of entrusting their child to others, a child who is not feeling well, and so on.

But we want to be clear that our adult worship service is intended to equip and teach adults, not entire families.  Some of the content and teaching may not be appropriate for young ones.  Conversely, our Children's Ministry programming is completely focused on children, from infants through 4th grade.  In fact, part of our core vision in Children's Ministry is to "encourage children to grow in Christ by teaching them Biblical truths in meaningful ways."  For most children, learning Biblical truths in meaningful ways includes:
  • fun and simple music, sometimes with hand-motions and lots of wiggling
  • skits and/or puppet shows
  • Bible lessons for an age-appropriate length of time
  • crafts and other activities
  • play
  • small group time to develop peer relationships 
You can find all of these things and more in our Children's Ministry programming (and not so much in our adult worship!). 

Additionally, we need to consider the importance of others (see Philippians 2:3) in the worship service.  Therefore, if a child's voice or behavior will be a regular distraction, we ask that you allow us to minister to him or her through our Children's Ministry programming.  (For a humorous perspective on this, see the #3 item on this list of things pastors secretly pray for.)

What do you think about this issue?  Have you ever brought your children (besides as infants) to adult worship?

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