The debate about Kids in church continues throughout seminary campus across the United States. I am sure that individuals talk about it and there have even been committees formed to decide what we do about kids in church. In a recent class we had a discussion over this very topic. We had different opinions about it. There was one person who said that the church’s ushers should be trained that if a child is making a disturbance they would be kindly escorted out. While others think that a child should be welcomed no matter what in a worship setting.
It is amazing for me to see how my own child acts in church. I love Logan with all my heart and soul but I think he is really becoming a “pastor’s Kid” I think he is adjusting to that role better than I am adjusting with the fact that soon I will be a pastor. He is very comfortable in church (for better or worse). The thing that I have to deal with and decide (well actually more Katie than me) — is Logan’s behavior distracting the worship experience of the individuals around us. I am sure that we are more sensitive than anyone else about his behavior, however that does not excuse it. Now we can go into issues about Logan and other things we have to deal with him, but that might be for another time. For the current time, I am thinking about children in general.
The best set up for children is at my home church Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Rutland, Vermont. There is a children’s play area in the back. When we have worshiped there, a few kids have used it and you hear noises every now and again but nothing terribly distracting and we were able to worship. Is that better than a nursery? I would think so, but is that the best answer? Are there other things that we can do for kids? Over the years we have created and seen, worship bags for kids, and we have seen Sunday school during a worship service. Which would be the best route to take?
What really struck home for me was a conversation with Logan. Last weekend we had Addyson baptized in Vermont (you can see pictures of the occasion on my facebook page) and the next day when we went to get my brothers son baptized Logan asked where we were going and we said to get Evan baptized and Logan asked “with water?” I was shocked that he actually got something out of the service. It was amazing to me and it made me so happy. I know that when he is in worship, he is soaking more up than we realize. He can be an active participant in worship, but the trick with him and with all children is to know how we are going to enable our children to worship while we are spiritually fed as well.