“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.”
This momma says this so much more eloquently than I ever have, but this is why I stopped sending Melody off to “Sunday school” after she was 4 or so. It’s why I don’t remove myself/my children from the service when they whimper.
Not only am I a part of the Body, but I want my children growing up knowing that they can be as well. They don’t need to be sent away to learn about Christ and how to live like Him, they can learn with all of us. They can ask us questions. They can make a joyful noise in front of all of us. Or a sad one.
Sending any children away from the church service had always made me sad, but when she was young, I was extremely pressured by the church I was going to, to put Melody in the class, so she “didn’t feel left out” from the other children. (Which isn’t an issue when all the children are welcome in the fellowship.)
I caved because I wasn’t resolved enough at that point in being different (who I am called to be) and realizing it doesn’t matter what other people think. It took me a good year or more at the church I was going to finally be convicted:
what matters is what I am choosing to invest in for my children.
Sending them away from me to learn about God, the Body, and loving others… wasn’t at all a priority for me (or sound rational, when wanting to let my children know that they can be a part of the fellowship of Christ).
So, anyway. I just really loved that older post and and I wanted to share it with you.