Babies in Church

Rev. Jeremy Smith is a dad and a UMC pastor in Portland, Oregon.  He also writes the blog “Hacking Christianity”.  This week he wrote about crying babies in church.  Give it a read here:

http://hackingchristianity.net/2013/09/preacher-or-performer-the-crying-baby-test.html

We have LOTS of babies… and toddlers… and preschoolers and elementary age students, and even quite a few intermediate school students and teenagers!  One of the greatest blessings at Faith UMC is all the children.  It is important in a community with so many young children to talk about worship and children.  So here are a few questions for discussion for this week.

1.  If you are the parent of a baby, what is your experience at Faith UMC?  Do you feel welcome?  Stressed?  Anxious?  Comfortable with your child in worship?

2.  What, if anything, would you change about worship at Faith UMC so that parents of babies and toddlers would be able to have a positive worship experience?

3.  This school year 5th and 6th graders have a Sunday school class at 9:30 and at 11:00 they are encouraged to attend worship with their parents.  Students at this age don’t cry like babies and are ready to participate fully in worship – but parents may still struggle.  What is your experience of worship with middle school students?  Is there anything that might help your family worship experience?

4.  As pastors, we love seeing families worshiping together and don’t mind babies in worship.  We are encouraged to see so many students involved in our music program.  What would YOU love to see in worship at Faith UMC?  How would you like to be involved in worship ?

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.  Peace!

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Babies in Church

  1. Jenny E

    I LOVE having babies, children, and even fidgety or noisy adults in worship. (Embarassment loves company, right? 😉 One of my favorite middle school teachers had a sign outside her door that said “Learning is noisy. Death is quiet.”

  2. Mike

    The children’s sermon was removed from our Worship Service to send the children to another venue. Children should Worship with their parents and friends to reinforce their family values. Many Churches have a time at the beginning of the service for families to begin worship together, then the children go to their own service.

  3. Connie T

    “Let the children come to me”. I have been amazed at what my “baby” has regurgitated from being in church with me when I’ve thought he hadn’t understood a word. I do feel like he has been welcomed in the Faith UMC service, which makes me also feel welcomed. That welcoming of children (and therefore also me) has not been extended at other churches I’ve attended….which I have ultimately left. Children, accidental cell phones, etc don’t bother me at all. This is my community….I would much rather see a full, noisy church than an empty, quiet one.

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