Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Children in Church: How Can We Be Welcoming to All?

I wanted to share this link and a couple of thoughts about it.


This blog article is entitled, "Dear parents with young children in church, what you do matters!"  I don't know about any of you, but I've *been* that mom.  Maybe nursery care isn't available, maybe your child doesn't want to go, maybe your child is too old for nursery but is fidgety.  Any way you slice it, it can be emotionally draining, trying to respect others, trying to worship, and trying to parent.

How are we as fellow Christians- either with children or without?  Do we support one another and foster a spirit of welcoming or do we glare?  Do we even want children in worship?  It is an interesting question.

The story of Jesus with the babies and little children (Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10: 13-16; Luke 18:15-17) tells us about parents of young children who basically brought their children to worship.  Brought them to interact with Jesus and to have them receive a blessing from Jesus.  Were the disciples encouraging and supportive?  Not by a long shot!

They basically said, "Get those little grimy, sticky, noisy children out of here.  Don't bother us, and especially don't bother Jesus.  This is too important an event for them."

Ok... the first part may be stretching things a bit.  However, they were concerned as I think that we all are about being able to pay attention to Jesus.  They were also concerned about "protecting" Jesus; because they cared.  They didn't want Jesus to have to deal with annoyances and the trivial.

But Jesus challenges them, and challenges us to let them come.  Let them come as they are and that they shall receive.

How can we do this?  I have some ideas, but I'm leaving the floor open.  Go ahead, don't be shy.

Love in Christ,