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 : )