Monday, November 24, 2008

Children - what a distraction!

It's all my husband's fault.

Ok, well, maybe not for the lack of blogging, but he's definitely responsible for my frustration right now. He was directed recently to a mega-church blog. This particular blog had a video interview with their Children's Ministry director. The part that gets me all upset is about their "policy" to not allow children to accompany their parents to the service.

I can just see it: children *police* set up at every entrance, don't let those little brats past, they'll distract an adult, hurry, stop 'em, STOP 'EM!!!

Of course, they have their reasons. They talk about how they try to be "age appropriate" at all age levels, and this is one way to ensure our precious little ones aren't hearing something about Christ that they just aren't ready for yet. WHAT?!!?

What Bible are they reading? What kind of language are they using? What illustrations? Is it rated PG-13 or R? I realize there are some, what some would consider "touchy" subjects in the Bible. Adultry, murder, sodomy, even multiple wives, children being killed by bears, a man beaten beyond recognition and crucified on a cross of all things. Horrible. Yes, totally not appropriate for children. (end OBVIOUS sarcasm)

Now, lest any of you not know me well, my husband is a Children's/Family Pastor. He is the director of Children's Ministries and heads up our church's MANY children's programs. Our children attend a lot of those programs. They enjoy them. I believe they are learning from them. I'm not a family-integrated ONLY supporter (although I do understand why some choose this and I respect them totally). That's not the point.

The point is, ONCE AGAIN, we have a situation where children are viewed as a burden, a nuisance, a distraction. This church claims their reasons are the age-appropriate stuff. They then say the "gift" of this way of worshipping is what they call their "distraction-free services". Yikes!

Talk what you will about how many parents today don't discipline their children, how they do run wild, how they would be a distraction, etc. The point is: we are the parents. NOT the church. It is not the church's job to decide what is age-appropriate for my child. Their making this a "policy" or "rule" is appalling to me.

If you want children who stay in the faith after they graduate (another of their claims this type of worship leads to), build up the family. Don't isolate them from one another. They get that all week long: school, work, after-school stuff, preschool, etc.etc. Support families.

I do wonder how they enforce this "rule"? Look deep into my eyes.....we know what is best for your child. Concentrate on my eyes......we only want what's best for them, we love them. Focus on the sound of my voice.......we just want to protect your children for you, teach them for you, take away any burdens or distractions from you. Peace, quiet, now doesn't that sound nice?

AHHHHHH!!! Wake up people!


Shane Vander Hart said...

That drives me nuts too. I don't mind the option of having children's worship, etc, but let it be just that - an option. I think it is the height of arrogance when a church says to a family that your children are not welcome in this service.

Exactly who did God give the primary responsibility of faith-training children to? Parents, church should be a supplement and support. Being that support they should realize that some families want to worship together.

Anonymous said...

Amen! :)
I would like someone to show me in the Bible where the children had their own "Age appropriate" classes?? :) Oh,it's not there! tee hee hee :)

You gave some good points. :)

Kenni B said...

Matthew 19:14

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

But I do think it's the parents responsibility to train their children in appropriate behavior, whether that be in church, a restaurant, grocery store, home, wherever.

I know of a family at church who actually PRACTICE sitting in a service with their children! They'll turn on the local christian TV station and watch a service with their kids. The kids will color with each other or play with some toys or something like that. But they want their children IN the service with them, as a family, even though there are children's programs running during service times.