Let the Little Children Come to Me

Baby Pew Sitters
Christopher D. Hall on the Disservice of Children’s Church

"I understand the concept of “children’s church.” I sat in pews with small children before I was ordained. I know the constant juggling of Cheerios and crayons, the winces as plastic toys hit the tile floor, the random shrieks of babies, and the “whisper” of toddlers that carries halfway to the pulpit.

I’ve said prayers like this: “Our Father who art in . . . ssshh! Put that down . . . thy kingdom come, thy will . . . no, don’t color on that . . . Give us this day . . . ssshh! I said. . . .” It would be nice to have an hour of quiet, an hour of worship, an hour of attentiveness knowing that my children are hearing about our God and Savior.

Children’s church seeks to reach children at a level cognitively and emotionally appropriate to their age, all the while allowing parents to be attentive to worship, but it does a disservice to the children, disconnecting them from the church gathered as the complete Body of Christ, sacramentally present, serving the Body of Christ with our Lord himself. It does a disservice to adults, too, subtly giving them the impression that church is like the evening news or a PG-rated musical: adult fare that requires some maturity."

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  1. As a mom of a toddler I understand the appeal of Children's church but I am so adamantly opposed to removing children from the whole worship service.

    I admit, I still take my boy out just before the sermon quite often yet, but not always, depends on the day, depends on his mood and my mood,

    When I taught Sunday school to younger children I was often amazed at the things they picked up from the sermon, removing that chance to learn God's word just is so totally wrong. They too are part of the church body.

    I could keep going, but I'll stop.

  2. We reformed people are so cerebral! It has taken me a long time to realize that it's even okay if they don't understand a word of it...means of grace is a means of grace! At the minimum our children benefit from our acting as if they are in the Covenant with us, not just saying it.