A Revolution in the Sanctuary

Kids in Church @depositphoto (c)jamesgroupChildren in Church?

Guest Post By Sandra Allen Lovelace

Sandra was a featured guest on Mommy Jammies NightWhere Is God in the Everyday?

Worship with a Toddler

The room stilled as the congregation paused for silent prayer. That was the moment my toddler reached for her doll and bumped her head. The clunk could be heard two rows away. I held my breath, willing the injury to be pain-free. Her piercing cry let me know I was not that powerful. Wishing I could disappear, I scooped her up and headed for the foyer.

Thus ended yet another worship service in my young mothering life. On the drive home I whined to my pastor husband. “I’m never going to hear a full sermon ever again.”

Thankfully the commitment we’d reached was based on more than my feelings. It kept me on course. Our earliest experiences with worshipping families in Switzerland and our search of the Scriptures provided a foundation firm enough to withstand the stretching times. We all made it through childhood with unexpected joys, even sitting in the front row.

Is this Biblical?

The idea of parents keeping our children with us in worship is not new. The Old Testament details many events where families were together before the Lord. The modern worshipping community has simply taken up a different model. Christ set the proper attitude, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 19:16

Many parents have never seen a family worship together. Others would like to nurture their children in this way, but aren’t sure how to begin. Each family and situation is unique. We’re sad every time we hear a family has met opposition in pursuing this desire. Thankfully reports of growing interest and widening acceptance are starting to appear.

Three Quick Tips:

How about you? Does the thought of having your children right beside you all through church strike fear into your heart? Or is family worship something you’ve been pondering? Whether you’re at the not-so-sure stage or a full-blown enthusiast, let me encourage you with three quick tips.

  1. Practice at home.

Consider what the hurdles might be for your family and ways to overcome them. You might want to arrange story times where young ones learn to enjoy peaceful attention. Teaching the skill of whispering may be especially helpful.

  1. Arrive prepared.

Think about the proper way to approach a holy God. Make plans to enter the sanctuary with reverence, choosing to sit in a convenient spot. Have an exit route and strategy in mind, in case the need arises.

  1. Remember the goal.

It is the hearts of our children we want to nurture in the knowledge of God, leading them to build a personal relationship with Him. Let’s include the next generation as active participants in corporate worship as early as possible.

Greatest Challenge?

What would be your greatest challenge?

I pray the Lord will bless you and cause you to overcome it.

Need help? Please ask!

Sandra and her husband Curt are co-authors of Children in Church: Nurturing Hearts of Worship. You will find a wealth of biblical information, practical suggestions, and sincere encouragement in its pages. For further information or to purchase an autographed copy contact info:

Sandra Allen Lovelace
Speaker, Writer, Pursuer
Director, Lifework Forum
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Sandra Lovelace -Featured Mommy Jammies Night – Where Is God in the Everyday?

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