Monday, March 09, 2009

ongoing debate. Nursery and children's it necessary?

Yesterday at church we had a pretty meaty sermon.  No...there wasn't any "feelings" "seeker sensitive" "love one another" type of atmosphere being spewed around.  Our pastor preached on Stephen the martyr and he stuck quite close to the text.  I kept wondering was sermon was too weighty for my 10 year old?  I could see him on the front seat...looking with eyes glazed over...nodding off.

Some say that kids that age are better off in a children's program...not listening to the sermon and not having to be bored.  Well I can tell you...when the pastor got to the stoning part...I saw my son perk up and listen.  A typical boy is always going to be interested in the gore and details of violence.  He was sitting a little closer on the edge of his seat and leaning in.  Bingo.  He's listening and tuned in.  I was thinking...I can't wait to ask him what the sermon was about...I know he's going to talk about the stoning.  My teen considered "the whole martyr thing...jacked up."  Good.  He was listening too.

Deuteronomy says in Chapter 6 that we're to "teach them diligently to you your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."  How can we do this if they're off coloring a bible page or paying the New Testament game?  I think there comes a point when it's o.k. for our children to be in church without understanding everything that goes on.

That's my debate within myself.  Since I help out in Children's it a good idea for 5, 6 and 7 year old children to stay in the service for the preaching part?  Will they be traumatized and scared after the sermon?  Some might...but I don't think it will affect them long term.  If anything...when they hear the bible account again...they will have insight they can contribute.
What is the best time for children to start going into church for the entire sermon?  When I was growing up they didn't have nursery.  My church was 400 people...but we kept everyone in church.  Do they really need to be in nursery for part of the sermon?  Do we really need nursery at all?  

Just questions running around in my head.  Aren't we blessed that we live in a country that allows us to freely talk about the bible?  We aren't going to be silenced like Stephen for preaching the gospel.  Well not yet anyway.


Mama Hen said...

I too help with Children's Church at our small hometown church. Me and our Preacher's wife.
I too agree that at a certain age that they should sit through service. We are teaching out little one's to sit through using this method. Every Sunday morning we meet in the sanctuary for song service then off to children's church. Then the last Sunday of every month we all sit in and enjoy the sermon.
Our children's church isn't just a distracting playtime. We do have a bible lesson, interaction time, then if time permits, a craft time. During the story time they have to sit still and listen and answer questions afterwards. We feel we are preparing them for the longer "big" church sermons. (Mind you our children are ages 3mos-8yrs)

American Home said...

I agree with you, do we really need a nursery? I think a nice place to take the children when they need feeding or changing is a good idea but to constantly try to staff a nursery is difficult. The other thing is whenever there is a nursery someone else is missing out on the sermon and teaching.
You have great thoughts on this subject.

American Home said...

Sorry to leave two comments in one day but I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog so much that I have added you to my "Great Places to Visit" list.
Have a great day.