Every week our Church asks parents to do something for one hour that I think can be the most valuable time of their week. We ask parents to sit in worship while their children go to children’s Church. I started this practice 20 years ago and I am a strong supporter of it to this day. Let me give you a few reasons.
1. It Eliminates Distractions – A small child of any age is a distraction. They distract parents from worship and the sermon. They distract everyone around them. People often argue with me about this and say, “They don’t bother me.” First, let me say that is not true. I watch you. You are distracted. Second, I will let you know that it distracts the preacher. If you do not believe this then you have never done any public speaking. One of our goals is to help people to focus on God for one hour.
2. It Helps the Children – We gear everything in Children’s Church for … children. In our regular worship I speak to adults. I talk about sin, temptation, cheating, and punishment. I talk about marriage and parenting and other adult topics that children will not understand yet. In our children’s area they get songs, lessons, crafts and even play time that is on their level. People tell me their children can handle the sermon. I tell them it is rare. Most children learn to sit still and be quiet because Church is not really for them. No wonder when they get older they say, “Church is not for me.”
3. It Reinforces Faith – One of the biggest push backs I have to Children’s Church is that people want their children to see other adults in worship. I tell them that is not what their children need. Children need to see and hear adults teaching them! They need to hear the words that their parents say being reinforced by other adults. They need to hear someone say the same things their parents say. Watching is not the same as learning.
4. Children Bring Parents – In today’s world children have a greater influence than parents. If a child says they want to do something then parents frequently bend over backwards to give it to them. This is true in all areas of life, including Church. If a child goes one time to a Church and they enjoy themselves they will want to go back. Soon the children are bringing the parents every week. The flip side is also true. If children are bored and unconnected then parents will have to drag their children to Church. One or two weeks of that and the whole family quits coming.
These are just a few of the reasons I strongly support Children’s Church. Now, it has to be a quality program for the kids to enjoy and learn. A ministry is only as strong as its volunteers. So let me encourage everyone to get involved in the children’s area of your Church. It might be the most important thing you do in your Church.