Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Is Children's Church a good idea?
Recently on the Ooze someone asked the question of whether Children's Church was a good or bad thing. I thought it was a good question, so I shared some of the ideas Julie and I have had about it. I said...

My wife has been creating and leading Children's Church for the past 2 years. We both have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it's valuable for the kids to get age appropriate worship and teaching. On the other hand, it's important for the kids to be a part of the church as a whole and not feel segregated into their own little area.

Basically I would say whether or not to have a children's church depends on a number of other factors about the life of the church as a whole:

1) Is the "big service" kid friendly? I.e. does it contain elements that would appeal to all ages and all learning styles, or is it only targeted to the needs and preferences of one particular age group and one type of learning style?

2) Does the life of the church consist of more than just a Sunday Service? I.e. are there other opportunities for adults and children to interact together so that even if kids are pulled out of the service they are still a part of the life of the church?

3) Do most adults in the church value children for who they are, or merely tolerate them? For example, do adults expect children to behave like adults at all times (e.g. sit still, no running, no shouting, no fun) or do they enjoy seeing little kids acting like kids and having fun?

4) Are there other opportunities besides Children's Church for kids to learn the basics of faith and the Christian story in a way that they will understand; and that doesn't just rely on the overly idealistic hope that all the kids will just get that from their parents at home? (Which especially won't work if your church is very focused on outreach and attracting unchurched seekers.)

5) Are the people in charge of Children's Church willing to be creative and put effort into it, or is it just a mini-version of "big church" or a literacy-based classroom model (e.g. worksheets, word finds, teacher centered, etc.)?

IMHO, The answers to the questions above would determine in a large part whether or not a church should have a pull-out Children's Church.
posted by Mike Clawson at 12:54 PM | Permalink |


At 2/22/2005 09:35:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

Hi Mike! You have a blog! Okay, I'm a little behind. I just discovered it today when I read one of your posts at the ooze. But I read all your past blog entries, so I'm somewhat caught up on your life. Let's get together sometime. I will e-mail you.



At 3/22/2005 10:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous

Being a "Youth" myself, i would say that sunday services are generally geared towards an older audience, i'd say 25-30 and up. And i think that children's church is basically a good idea, but i think it's mainly a way to get the kids out of mommy and daddy's hair so they don't have to hush them though the service every sunday!

In the Christian faith, there are many concepts that are hard to comprehend, and this is why i think Children's Church is a good idea. When it's engrained into your head as the truth, it's generally easier to make that leap of faith to believe when you're older (though, some may see this as "Brainwashing").

The way i grew up in the church, we were sent away for children's church through the services, but once we were in 3rd grade, they had us sit in on the service. They taught us some of the popular hymns so we could sing along and they'd try to simplify the sermon and explain it. Of course, this was at a large church and I can imagine would be much more difficult in a smaller church with... quite rowdy children... I don't know how they do it, but i have deep respect for Sunday School teachers!

That's just my two cents :)
<3 Jill


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