I'm curious as to what everyone believes (and what their church practices, which may not be the same!) in regards to having children in the worship service. When I first became a Christian, 30 years ago, it was in a General Conference Baptist Church. It was the first Christian church (and Baptist church as well) that I had ever been in. This church had two Sunday morning worship services and an hour in between for Sunday school classes (all ages). In the worship service, after about 20 minutes had progressed and before the sermon began, all the children up to third grade (about 9 years old) were dismissed for "children's church". (Of course, very small children were in the nursery or preschool rooms). I thought this to be a wise practice, as the children could go to a program that was geared to their age level and attention span. Sometime in the 1980's, with a new pastor, they dropped that practice (as well as several other practices). Children were not dismissed sometime during the service, if you brought them in, they stayed the whole time. When I left that church a few years ago looking for another, I went to a "bible" church recommended by a friend. Their services were quite unusual, one service two and one half hours long with a half hour coffee/fellowship break after the first hour. The first hour was all singing, announcements, missions presentations, etc. and a short devotional about 15-20 minutes. The second hour was ALL preaching except for a song at the end. There were NO "Sunday school" classes either hour for any age. Children from about age 4 or 5 and older were in both halves of the service. I thought this was a poor decision on the church's part, since all but the smallest children had to sit still through two hours of services. I remember one time sitting in a pew with families having children on either side of me. The children were sitting on the floor, then in the pew, then in their parents laps. The were coloring in coloring books their parents had brought. then coloring in the bulletins, sitting, lying down, whiney, bored, crying, etc. I'd say they were about 7 or 8 years old. Now I am certainly not trying to blame the children, I can remember sitting through terribly boring church services as a kid. It's unrealistic to expect children of 5, or 7, or 9 years of age not to get distracted or fidgety sitting still for that long. In my opinion, it's much better to have a 'children's church' they can go to, sing some children's songs, burn off a little energy, listen to some stories, etc. After a few Sundays I left that church, trying a local Independent Baptist Church. In that church, children from the 5th grade and younger were dismissed for children's church about 5 into the service (after greetings, one hymn being sung and announcements). I was glad to see some churches still doing this, and still believe this is the best solution of all, if possible for the church. I do think that once a child is about 12 or 13, they should be able to sit through an adult service of an hour or perhaps an hour and fifteen minutes. I realize some churches are too small to do this, and some others have enough to do just keeping their Sunday school staffed with enough adults. I don't remember this ever being discussed on the Board, and am curious as to what other Baptist churches do.