At Bloomingdale Church, there is a safe & welcoming nursery for children 0 through 3 years old. There is Children’s Church for children 4 years old through 4th grade. The nursery is available during and for the entirety of all worship hours and Adult Ed. Children 4 through 4th grade are invited at the halfway point of the worship service to Children’s Church where they continue in worship.
This is the first in a series of posts with tips for those with young children in church.
Sunday morning church is stressful for many who have young children. We feel like our kids have to be tidy, put together, and perfectly-behaved before we step out of the door on the way to church. (When was the last time they were all of those things at once anyway?) And, there seems to always be a parenting fail or a major child meltdown before we even leave the house. In our house, it’s normally a child’s wardrobe malfunction… in others, there’s the we-forgot-to-feed-our-kids-breakfast-and-now-they’re-hangry-dilemma. And then, there are the sleepless nights, the cranky teething days, and the diaper explosions during the car ride to church.
And so… many parents of young children just opt-out of what feels like a hassle on Sunday morning: church.
But, what if church was a safe & welcoming place for families? What if it didn’t matter if you strolled in a bit late with a crying baby, feeling a little disheveled?
The first tip for those coming to church with young children is this: Come!
Jesus once said “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them!” And then, Jesus took them in his arms and blessed them. I don’t imagine pristine little angel children in this story. I picture the average family, with over-tired parents and melting-down children. Jesus held the children in his arms — I imagine he did so as they were squirming, maybe crying, maybe with a diaper-explosion (did they even use diapers then?!).
So, relax. Enjoy church. Jesus knows that children are wiggly and so do we, so don’t feel embarrassed by it.
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.
When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.
Read the entire series:
Tips for those with Young Children in Church (1)
Tips for those with Young Children in Church (2)
Tips for those with Young Children in Church (3)
Tips for those with Young Children in Church (4)
Tips for those with Young Children in Church (5)