Children in Church

2/15/06—There has been an ongoing discussion on our local homeschool email loop about children in church, and some church’s not allowing children to be in the worship center with their parents. I am finding myself growing more and more frustrated about this whole issue, so I thought what better way to air my own opinions than to write them here on my blog 🙂

So, here goes! (This is strictly MY opinion based on my observations)

There seems to be a growing trend in churches in our area to restrict the age of the people that are allowed to worship God in sanctuaries and “worship centers”. I’m hearing about more and more local churches that don’t allow children under the age of 11 or 12 into the main worship service, they are required to either attend children’s classes or to be sent to a “cry room” or some other such place. To me this sounds an awful lot like discrimination…..age discrimination. My children do attend sunday school classes with their peers MOST weeks, but I do like to have the option to have them in church with me, or if they want to stay in church with D and I, I think that they should be allowed that opportunity. Yes, my children are well behaved and have been trained to sit quietly in church (or anywhere else that it is appropriate), and if they were to become disruptive, or a distraction to those around us, I would remove them from the service. I do believe that most parents would. So, why is it that church’s are discriminating against families that choose to worship together?

D and I have discussed this with two of our pastors and they agree that this is an anti-family policy and they do not believe that it is Godly or Biblical. So why is it that some of the big Bible teaching churches are setting this policy? I believe that it is another attack against the family. It seems that the attacks on family are coming from all areas now, even our local church (let me clarify, not OUR family’s local church….the “local church” generically). If our “local church” won’t stand by our family’s then who will?

What really saddens me is that two of the churches that have this policy locally are churches that I have attended in the past and absolutely love the pastors and the teaching that is happening. When I attended these two churches as a new believer from1987-1989 both churches not only included children in the worship, but they discouraged parents from utilizing the nursery. Both pastors (and they are the same pastors as are in those churches still today) had children that varied in ages between about 7 and 14/15 and all of those pastors’ children were active parts of our congregations. When I found out that these churches had this policy when we moved back to our “hometown”, I wrote a letter to both pastors. Didn’t hear back from either of them. I did call the pastor at the church in the same town as we are living in now, and his statement to me was “children are a great distraction to me, and they need to be taught at their own level”. WHAT??????????

First of all, this is SO different than what he taught when his OWN children were young. Secondly, if I believed this for my own children, their own spiritual growth would be SO stunted! Kids are like sponges! They soak up and remember so much in these young years. For instance, my children (ages 13, 10, 8 and 5) have been memorizing entire chapters of scripture, and entire Psalms this year. They are all memorizing at different paces, but they are hiding large chunks of God’s word in their hearts. My children are not extraordinary, they are normal kids! If I believed as this pastor does, and as he’s teaching from his pulpit, my kids would still be stuck at “Jesus Loves Me” and that would be the extent of their bible teaching! So so so sad! These children deserve to be taught just the same as adults.

I will step down off of my soapbox now, but there may be more about this is the coming days 🙂

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