Ideas: Help Church Members Cope w/Young Children in Church

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Ideas: Help Church Members Cope w/Young Children in Church

Postby crafterwannabe » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:00 pm

Date Posted: 10:10:11 02/18/15 Wed
Author: Kay(PA)
Subject: Need poem, story anything to help with problem

I need help with a poem, story or anything that will help with a problem we currently are having in our church.

We have a family with small children that have been coming for several years. The youngest child is now 3 and is talking and moving around more than before. We have some older people in the church that all of a sudden are having a problem with this. One women recently spoke to our minister and told her that she needed to talk to this family. I don't see anything wrong with what is happening as the family does correct the child when he does these things.

I do the church bulletin and I'd like to find something that I can put in the bulletin reminding these busy bodies that their children were once small and did the same thing and that a child must learn how to behave in church and the only way to do that is to have them attend church and the parents correct them when they do something wrong.

I've done some searching, but haven't been able to fine anything that would work.

Can anyone help with any suggestions. I don't want to point fingers at anyone but just want to do a suttle reminder.

Thanks,
Kay(PA)

Replies:
[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- Nannykaren, 01:54:44 03/09/15 Mon [1]

Here's a start. Maybe you or someone can tweak it so you can use it.

I know it seems to be hectic,
On a Sunday morning.
When little ones start moving around,
Sometimes without warning.

But just remember they're still learning,
How to act in church, you see.
And they need some understanding,
From all of us, including you and me.

Soon they will be older,
And then we all will see,
They will love the story,
Of how Jesus died for you and me.

[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- bonniek, 14:01:19 03/09/15 Mon [1]

Oh My Dear Kay! We go through these growing pains occasionally in our church too. Funny how it's generally the same person who has an issue. We started having little activity bags available for the kids-they have some crayons,coloring pages, paper and pencil, a story book and some small toy, like a little beanie baby toy. The bags are on a front pew so the kids can get one whenever they want-it's always more fun to have a bag from church than one that mom packed from home! Our Pastor periodically mentions (maybe every month or two) that all ages are welcome in our worship service. You can never please everyone, but usually a reminder that we are all God's children keeps the complaints down. I also publish the Sunday bulletin and monthly newsletter for our church so I sometimes find an article online to print in the newsletter too, Like this one http://www.stpaulsindy.org/connect/chil ... in-church/ or this one
http://www.buffalocov.org/Websites/buff ... orship.pdf
http://www.stnicholasstratford.org/arti ... ldren.html
And the first few sentences of this one would certainly be appropriate for the Sunday bulletin!
http://www.christianliferesources.com/a ... church-322
I hope your church grows with a whole herd of children!

[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- bonniek, 14:18:59 03/09/15 Mon [1]

I found the one I printed in our newsletter awhile back-it really hit home with a couple of complainers! I always want to encourage the children and discourage the complainers!
http://thecommunity.anglican.ca/childre ... in-church/

“Dear Parents with young children in church,

You are doing something really, really important. I know it’s not easy. I see you with your arms overflowing, and I know you came to church already tired. Parenting is tiring. Really tiring.

I watch you bounce and sway trying to keep the baby quiet, juggling the infant car seat and the diaper bag as you find a seat. I see you wince as your child cries. I see you anxiously pull things out of your bag of tricks to try to quiet them.

And I see you with your toddler and your preschooler. I watch you cringe when your little girl asks an innocent question in a voice that might not be an inside voice let alone a church whisper. I hear the exasperation in your voice as you beg your child to just sit, to be quiet as you feel everyone’s eyes on you. Not everyone is looking, but I know it feels that way.

I know you’re wondering, is this worth it? Why do I bother? I know you often leave church more exhausted than fulfilled. But what you are doing is so important.

When you are here, the church is filled with a joyful noise. When you are here, the Body of Christ is more fully present. When you are here, we are reminded that this worship thing we do isn’t about Bible Study or personal, quiet contemplation but coming together to worship as a community where all are welcome, where we share in the Word and Sacrament together. When you are here, I have hope that these pews won’t be empty in ten years when your kids are old enough to sit quietly and behave in worship. I know that they are learning how and why we worship now, before it’s too late. They are learning that worship is important.

I see them learning. In the midst of the cries, whines, and giggles, in the midst of the crinkling of pretzel bags and the growing pile of crumbs I see a little girl who insists on going two pews up to share peace with someone she’s never met. I hear a little boy slurping (quite loudly) every last drop of his communion wine out of the cup determined not to miss a drop of Jesus. I watch a child excitedly color a cross and point to the one in the front of the sanctuary. I hear the echos of Amens just a few seconds after the rest of the community says it together. I watch a boy just learning to read try to sound out the words in the worship book or count his way to Hymn 672. Even on weeks when I can’t see my own children learning because, well, it’s one of those mornings, I can see your children learning.

I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing, but I want you to know, it matters. It matters to me. It matters to my children to not be alone in the pew. It matters to the congregation to know that families care about faith, to see young people… and even on those weeks when you can’t see the little moments, it matters to your children.
It matters that they learn that worship is what we do as a community of faith, that everyone is welcome, that their worship matters. When we teach children that their worship matters, we teach them that they are enough right here and right now as members of the church community. They don’t need to wait until they can believe, pray or worship a certain way to be welcome here, and I know adults who are still looking to be shown that. It matters that children learn that they are an integral part of this church, that their prayers, their songs, and even their badly (or perfectly timed depending on who you ask) cries and whines are a joyful noise because it means they are present.

I know it’s hard, but thank you for what you do when you bring your children to church. Please know that your family – with all of its noise, struggle, commotion, and joy – are not simply tolerated, you are a vital part of the community gathered in worship.”

[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- Kay(PA), 14:31:47 03/10/15 Tue [1]

NannyKaren & Bonniek,
Thank you for the poem I will be sure to use it.
Bonniek thank you for the links this is what I've been looking for.

I know what you mean about complainers. We have our share as well. It seems they aren't happy unless they have something to complain about. We also have those that don't come on a regular basis and their excuses are so lame. I found this on put it in our March newsletter which I ended up doing. It's called Six Little Christians. http://www.inspirationalarchive.com/254 ... hristians/

We are planning on making the activity bags for the children very soon. I do the bulletin but not the newsletter except when the person who does it will be out of town. I'm thinking of putting together a "Children's" bulletin that will have the adults things in it be somehow geared to children. Not sure how I'm going to do this yet but I'm working on it. I've also decided to find some simple word search, coloring, dot-dot pages and whatever else I can find for them. This past Sunday I found some coloring pages that went with the pastor's sermon and since she was also doing the children's sermon I printed them out for her to give them after her message to them. They were then able to take them to their pews and color them during the rest of the service.

Thank you again for the links. I'll be sure to use them somehow.
Kay(PA)

[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- bonniek, 17:39:38 03/10/15 Tue [1]

I use these children's bulletins every week. I have it emailed to me every week.
http://www.sermons4kids.com/
If your Pastor uses the lectionary, they usually match that. Probably a little too old for toddlers, but the school aged kids like them. We also have erratic attendance--one Sunday we have no children, the next Sunday we have 10. Who can guess!

[> Re: Need poem, story anything to help with problem -- Kay(PA), 19:13:17 03/10/15 Tue [1]

Thank you so much for the link to Sermons 4 Kids. I've just spent some time looking over the site and I signed up. Our minister uses the lectionary so this will be very helpful. Thanks again. If you have anything else to share please let me know. I'd appreciate it. I've added my e-mail address.
Thanks,
Kay(PA)
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