Friday, June 27, 2008

What's Wrong With Children's Church & Nurseries?

The discussion of putting your children in the church nursery or children's church has come up on other blogs. Should you or shouldn't you? Some parents feel strongly about keeping their children with them & some not. I can say I lean more toward one that prefers my children to stay with me but I don't practice that 100%. What I would like to do is share my experience on this subject, for what it's worth.... I guess just another opinion : ) I also would like to defend those parents that do chose to send their children to these ministries......yes ministries, that's what they are. I have used/needed to use them. This is my story:

When I began to attend church on a regular basis I had 4 small children ~ ages 7-to a baby. I had several older & more mature Christians as well as some family members that encouraged me to keep my children with me in church. They said the children needed to hear what I was hearing, learn what I was learning, sings hymns to the Lord that I was singing. We needed to be together. I trusted their wisdom. In all honesty, I was never big on putting my children in nursery because they didn't like it, they would just cry and get upset and want to be with mommy. So I didn't put them in there.

So anyway I chose to keep them with me after listening to others advice/encouragement on the subject. My 3 older children all did well in church, were never difficult, but the baby on the other hand was not, especially the older he got. It was okay for awhile though because I had family there to help (my husband did not attend church with me at this time) . If I needed to step out with the baby they were there to help by supervising the other children. It all worked out quite well until...........................these family members found a new church to go to.

I didn't go with them to the new church for a few reasons , one being that my husband didn't want me to. He didn't go to church with me but didn't mind me going , so I decided to just stay put. So there I was every Sunday/Wed. sitting in the pews with 4 little ones. The littlest a toddler by this time became more & more difficult and disruptive during church. I would have to walk out with him often and was leaving my 3 other children sitting in the pews by themselves. I wouldn't take them all out with me everytime the little one would get rowdy, could you imagine the disruptiveness that would cause : )

My toddler wouldn't go in the nursery, he would get so upset. One time I put him in there and when one of the nursery workers had turned her back for a second to help another child he had opened the door and went running down the hall to the sanctuary. She caught him just as he opened the door to the sanctuary. So I'm sure you could see my dilema. Sit out in the hallway with my little one while my 3 older children sat in the church service by themselves, unsupervised.

I became more & more discouraged and frustrated....leaving church in tears because I couldn't handle the situation myself & I wasn't hearing the service........I just wanted to stop going & I think I did for awhile. So that's when I decided to put my children in children's church.....and the good thing was that my toddler was comfortable going with his older siblings to children's church & behaved because it was geared toward children. This wasn't the normal practice, most children his age went to the nursery.

Every family has a different situation or circumstances and it's not "a one size fits all " solution or choice . It doesn't make you less Godly or less loved by God or less of a parent if your children go to nursery/children's church. If you find yourself in a similar situation be encouraged and don't give up : )


Deeny said...

I loved your post. I can relate on so many levels even though my oldest child had more severe problems. He is blind and mentally handicapped with some autistic behaviors. When he was a toddler it was impossible to keep him with us in church. We attended one Church that had a nursery and Sunday School Classes through the Kindergarten age. Then they grouped the children 1st grade through fifth together in Childrens' Church. Well DS needed too much supervision and was still in the nursery at age 9. I can't remember her name now, but the Nursery Lady suggested we visit a nearby Church that was starting a Special Needs Ministry for special needs children and their families. It was an awesome ministry. So many parents of special needs children can't attend together as a family. One or the other parent has to stay home with the child if there is no place for the child in Church or Sunday School. this Ministry wanted to include these children in the Church community and be a resource and help to the parents. Anyway it is an area I have a passion for. Thanks for a lovely post.
Sincerely, Deeny
Have a blessed day.

Suzanne said...

I comepletely agree:-) Sometimes we all need to use these ministries and are blessed by those that serve in them. I just wish those that aren't of the same opinion would "just be quiet" and do things their way and leave everyone else alone please:-)

Mom, Mommy, Mama said...

We don't do children's church but we also recognize that each family needs to make the decision for themselves. Our family has been blessed by family worship. At one point we allowed one of our children, who really wanted to go to the children's class, to attend those while the rest of us went to church. We were confident that he would be okay and because he is homeschooled we recognized his desire to spend that time with other kids. We consented to that and now he asks to worship with us most of the time. I prefer that our entire family be together in church but I recognize that there can be exceptions even in our own family. I certainly wouldn't assume what is right for another family :) Good blog topic!

prov31rj said...

So true. We also prefer to keep dd with us , especially now that she is older-9 yo.

There were times she has attended childrens' church ,though. I started attending church again when she was two and she did go to the nursery.

When she turned eight, we decided it was time for her to stay with us in church from now on. I do allow her to attend VBS.

Nancy said...

You wouldn't believe how many children are at our church and we don't even have a nursery! I guess we are all so use to it that way.