Unwelcome Distractions

(picture originally uploaded to Flickr by gilesclement)

When did parents and children become responsible for someone not hearing from God?

We’ve all done it. We’re sitting in church, and a baby starts crying or a child says something a little too loud. We roll our eyes disapprovingly and shake our heads, “Don’t those parents know we have a children’s ministry? How selfish of them to have their kids in here to disturb my worship time… um, I mean the worship time.”

We post bouncers at the doors to the sanctuary or auditorium to convince parents that their children are better off in age appropriate classes. We print in our bulletins about “a wonderful children’s ministry for your kids so others can worship without distraction.”

When was the last time you listened to a parent who brings their child into the sanctuary or auditorium without redirecting them to the children’s wing? We make sweeping assumptions about “those parents.” We create a caricature of an overprotective hover parent who can’t let go of their baby. We miss an opportunity to care. We miss an opportunity to encourage. We miss an opportunity to empower. We miss an opportunity to build relationship and trust. We miss an opportunity to help those families discover God more fully.

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5 thoughts on “Unwelcome Distractions

  1. Lilian Low says:

    Many parents have expected Children’s Ministry to be a child-minding service. Children are too often regarded as an inconvenience. The family that worships together stays together!

    • henryjz says:

      Just to give some context… This post was in response to a kidmin leader who was annoyed that someone had their kids in service. I was quite irked at the sense of entitlement by this kidmin leader and accusation that the leader was being robbed of an experience with God.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Henry Zonio, Henry Zonio. Henry Zonio said: #kidmin Unwelcome Distractions http://bit.ly/fawAuJ #cmconnect #kidology […]

  3. My wife and I, before we ha dour three boys, used to come home from work on Friday afternoon and toss our sleeping bags in to the station wagon. She would put in some food and I would put in the tent, and few other things. Then we would head North or South and rive until we felt like stopping or saw a nice place to camp. We loved the freedom of being able to go when we wanted to and where we wanted to.
    Then we had our three boys, and we didn’t stop doing our weekends away camping, BUT we did have put child safe seats in the car, we had to pack in nappies and the worst thing of all was that I could just keep driving we had to stop at regular intervals for breaks.
    Well the worst thing turned out to be the best. The boys saw things that we never saw when we just drove North or South until we felt like stopping. And when we stopped I we saw even more things that we missed when we didn’t stop for breaks. AND I got back into the car refreshed.
    Church with all ages together is something like this story. The kids need us adults to drive the car, but they help us to take in more. Break the journey up. Break the Sunday service into smaller chunks. Have some fun. Make new friends they may even be a kid.
    Yours in His service
    Andrew

  4. The Last Post: The Best of the Latest (#15) « Forming Faith Blog says:

    […] “Unwelcome Distractions” – Henry Zonio (Elementalcm.com) […]

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