Does your church have a nursery and

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by menageriekeeper, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Do you expect your members with young children to use it or is it optional depending on the preference of the parents?

    What about children's church?

    At what age are children welcome in your sanctuary during a regular preaching service?

    I'm finding that quite a few young mothers that I speak with don't feel that their children are welcome in "big' church and even heard a horror story this week where a mother with a baby who dared to make a little noise was summarily given a card "informing" her that the church had nursery services provided! :eek:

    I don't question this, because I was once met at the door of a church I was visiting for the second time and escorted to the nursery with my one year old. (We didn't continue attending that church!)

    When I was a kid, we either didn't have nurseries or my parents just didn't think I needed to be in one. :D One of my earliest memories is of my mother pinching me to get me to be still and my shouting "quit pinching me!" right in the middle of preaching. I bet you can guess what happened next (right after the laughing died down). :laugh:

    So, should children attend regular service or be relagated to a church nursery to be watched after by folks they might not know. Should we be encouraging families to separate during worship?
     
  2. Old Union Brother

    Old Union Brother
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    0
    We don't have have one. Our view is that having young families attend with their children is a sign that our church is growing and doing the right thing.
     
  3. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    Good topic for discussion.

    Our church has a childrens church and nursery. The childrens church kids stay for the first part of the service (opening hymns, announcements) but leave after that. Overall, I like the way our church does it, and the majority of the kids seem very well behaved, but wonder at times if we are not isolating them too much.

    When we do have visitors with young children I always notice people coming up to them during the fellowship time to let them know there is a nursery/children's church. I know they mean well, but if my wife and I had kids and were visiting a place for the first time I would want our children with us. I wonder if, like you said, this doesn't discourage some people from visiting again.

    As far as the age its appropriate, just my opinion, but I think any kids third grade and up should be behaved well enough to quietly sit through a sermon. Although, they may not understand it all, I think they can still pick up on alot.

    At the church I grew up in (not Baptist) they were very blessed to have a lot of children. Unfortunately, the majority of the parents weren't very great disciplinarians. So the kids would run wild through the service, talk, and cry like banshees. Most of the adults were family members and would just smile like "Oh that's so cute". Don't get me wrong, Children are a blessing, but it was really hard to pay attention to the sermon through all the distraction. (Sermons weren't that deep so I probably didn't miss much anyways).

    When I was a kid, if I cut up in church I was taken out side and the problem was fixed, but unfortunately that doesn't happen all that often these days.

    One fear I have about Children's church though is, and this is just a generalization, but, are they really learning something or is it just play time. Not saying its that way at all churches. But if its just play time, then eventually when they "grow up" they will be "bored" with church when they have to actually sit through a service and exercise their brains.

    Just my $0.02, and this is coming from a guy without kids, so take it for what its worth.
     
    #3 Thousand Hills, Apr 5, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011
  4. Zenas

    Zenas
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,640
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yes, our nursery is heavily used. I can't remember the last time I saw a baby in church.
    We have children's church for kids too big for the nursery (about 4) and not old enough to get anything out of church (about 7). The kids who go to children's church will go to "big church" through the opening songs, announcements and the dreaded time of greeting. Then we have a children's sermon and off to children's church. At childen's church we try to have one good story teller and the kids will always get at least one Bible story.
    When they're old enough to behave (about7).
    We would probably do that.
    We would definitely do that. I'm sorry you wouldn't join our church because you seem like such a nice person. Smart too. I'll bet you would be a good story teller for children's church. :smilewinkgrin:
    There's much to be said for family togetherness but you can do that around the dinner table and in family devotions. Frankly, I don't want to be bothered by crying babies or restless children during worship service, not mine or anyone else's. I had kids who went to the nursery and children's church. Now their children are doing the same and they are benefitting much more than by sitting through an hour of a worship service that they don't understand and would rather not be attending.
     
  5. billreber

    billreber
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    0
    My current church does not have a children's church, and does have a nursery (optional choice by the parents). Most parents bring their young ones into the worship service.

    A previous church had a children's church, of which I was the leader. We had strict rules we had to follow concerning what we did. We had an actual worship service, complete with preaching and an "altar call". The main rule we followed was that any child who responded to the altar call in children's church needed to attend the "main" service the next week and tell what decision they had made.

    One such decision was made by Clarissa one November Sunday. We all went to the "main" service the following week, at which Clarissa announced to the church that she had accepted Jesus as her Savior. Of course, mom and dad had already been told. Mom and dad doubted that a 5-year-old could really understand salvation. About 3 weeks later, Mom found Clarissa crying her eyes out by the family Christmas tree. When asked why she was crying, Clarissa pointed to the manger ornament on the tree, and told Mom, "Because that Baby Jesus came to earth to die for my sins!" Needless to say, Mom knew Clarissa really understood!

    Clarissa is now an adult and a mom herself, and her oldest has accepted Christ -- also at age 5! To God be the glory!!

    Too many people see children's church as a glorified "baby-sitter time", when a properly run children's church leads to well-trained Christians as they grow older. I wish I could convince my current pastor of that!

    Bill :godisgood:
     
  6. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have both a nursery and a children's church. But we never force anyone into taking their child there. We encourage it but give each parent an option. Many parents on their first visit to a church prefer to have their kids with them rather than put their children under the care of the unknown person in the children's ministry.

    But if a parent wants to keep a child in the service, we don't force anyone.

    We have both not because we don't want kids in the service but believe they can learn more and better in a lesson and activities aimed at their ages.

    A friend of mine said that he didn't mind crying babies in a service because he could preach louder than they could scream. My question was but could people hear, learn and concentrate on what you are saying over top a child doing what children sometimes do.
     
  7. freeatlast

    freeatlast
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Messages:
    10,295
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have the accommodations but they are completely optional. I can see the pros and cons either way so there is most likely no absolute answer except if there is abuse of the system. One pro are those children who are sent to the service without their parents. Their parents many times see it as a way to get some free time without the kids around. If left in the regular church service they can be a problem so it is better to have them under close supervision in a group study.
     
  8. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,172
    Likes Received:
    369
    We have a nursery in our new church campus which is optional. We absolutely allow babies in the service if mom or dad wish to keep them there and we have some on our church launch team who will either work in the nursery with their child or else they will bring them into the service.

    I do understand some churches are afraid of children being a distraction but honestly, most parents would take their child out of the service if they were being too much of a distraction. It would be a rare family (OK, maybe not THAT rare but not common) who would still allow a child to stay in church who was being disruptive.
     
  9. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    I really enjoyed having everyone together when my three oldest were young. It was encouraged and the preacher definitely didn't mind...in fact it wasn't uncommon for him to pick up a fussy baby while he was preaching. Usually that stopped the fussy baby because they wanted to be held standing up or it just comforted them with him walking. It was pretty rare to have a kid acting out during services because they were trained from the start to be respectful. And those were LONG services with no fancy music or cushioned seats or anything.

    So it really shocked me to find churches that highly discouraged that. It was weird to me to not see whole families together.

    Where we are now, it's nearly impossible to related adults to their children because we rarely see them together. Nursery for the babies, age divided classes for the oldest until they're around 10 I think, then they go to "big people church." Some keep kids with them.

    I find it really sad that the majority of kids don't know how to behave during church. It may something to do with the area we live in because it doesn't even seem to be expected. I see great big kids sitting there with coloring books on the floor, talking, chewing gum and sticking it places. People have commented that our two youngest are "so good" because they don't whine and fuss during the service and they don't have toys. And they're 9 and 11! Toys? Coloring books? When they first whined that everyone else got to do that I didn't believe them, but they turned out to be right.

    Weirdness.
     
  10. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have both, but they're optional. People know there is a nursery as the worker's name for the week is posted in the bulletin. Children's Church (or as we call it, PreSchool Worship) is available for children too old to be in the nursery (age 3) up to 1st grade (age 7). The children stay in the morning service through the offering, there's a special children's offering (it's a little church) and they're given the chance to come forward and put their offerings in the little church. Our members take great delight in giving them money to put in the little church and I often have to play through my special offertory music more than once as they make several trips to put money in the little church building. After that, the pastor announces or most of the time the kids know and just start to the back with their teacher (the teacher changes each month so no one misses preaching completely) and off they go to PreSchool worship where they have singing, stories, crafts, snacks, and yes they do have creative playtime.

    As for the insulting notion that someone meets you at the door and insists you leave your children in the nursery...I'd walk right back OUT the door and go to another church. What you decide is best for your children is right for you. Crabby old people need to remember what it was like to have small children and how precious it was to watch them grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, and remember the Bible verse that says, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."

    I have had the privilege of bringing a sweet little girl with us to church every Sunday evening. We have AWANA clubs on Sunday evenings and then she stays for the worship service. Katie has a "church bag" in which I put a small snack, quiet things for her to do in the worship service. Now, someone could argue that she isn't paying attention because she's playing. However, last Sunday evening, after the service was over, she walked up to our pastor and told him something she thought of while he was preaching and he smiled a huge smile, hugged her, and told her she was right, that's what Jesus did. (He was talking about Christ's dying for our sins and she told him he did that on a cross and they put him in a cave after but he didn't stay there.) All the time he was preaching she was playing with some little animals on the pew, you wouldn't think she was paying attention at all but she heard every word.

    I love it when the little ones pipe up and say Amen, our whole church erupted in gales of laughter when little Will told how he'd gone to the potty that week and was now wearing "big boy pants" when the pastor asked for testimonies. That was important to him. There's two little boys who love to come and stand quietly by me while I'm playing the piano. Those two little ones may be the next Dino Kartsenakis. I guess what I am saying is we need to encourage the little ones and be open to what the Lord said...and let them come! So they get a little fussy sometimes. If you bring them something to keep their attention it doesn't happen often. A church bag is a great idea. I used it with my sons and now I use it with Katie. Hmmm...maybe I should patent the idea!
     
  11. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    We follow the Biblical model and do not segregate by age.
     
  12. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Maybe I should have asked how big everyone's churches are? The responses so far make me wonder if smaller churches are more tolerant of young children than bigger churches are?
     
  13. annsni

    annsni
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Messages:
    20,172
    Likes Received:
    369
    I think this could be the case but not always. Our church runs about 80-90 each week. Our home church has about 600 each week and it is harder to have the kids stay in the service but then again, they have the facilities to have closed circuit tv and we don't. :)
     
  14. glfredrick

    glfredrick
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sojourn has a very well developed children's ministry. It goes far beyond the typical nursery scenario, but also fulfills that task. It would be an understatement to say that we have a plethora of children in the church. Seems that our people are taking the Lord seriously when He says to "be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth." :laugh: With an average church member age in the low 30s, children are a fact of life around our campuses.

    Children are welcome in the service, but most are included in the children's ministry, where specially prepared lessons are taught by pastor-level persons.

    Here is our site:

    http://sojournkids.com/

    Feel free to check out our teaching materials on the site. Our church would be honored if others used the materials that our staff works hard to prepare!
     
  15. rbell

    rbell
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    11,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have a nursery (through age 3).

    For 4 year-olds through first grade, we offer "kids own worship." Kids are dismissed at the offering (1/2 way through service). We use rotating personnel with team captains. We made a decision that in doing a version of "Children's church," we would do it excellently, or not at all.

    Oh, and one thing I suggested that we have made a part of our plan now: Every time there's a fifth Sunday in the month, we don't have it. And on that day, when we normally dismiss kids, we explain instead that our goal is to transition them to "big church" as they get older, and this is part of our plan. Works well.

    It would get mighty loud in our church if all the nursery were in there: We often have 30-35 kids ages 3 and under.
     
  16. JohnDeereFan

    JohnDeereFan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2009
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    11
    If your goal is to transition them to "big church", how long do you keep them segregated?
     
  17. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    7,152
    Likes Received:
    0
    How big is your sanctuary?

    In the dying church I attended when mine were babies (6, 3, newborn) the sanctuary could seat no more than 150 (if that, the church only had like 8 double rows of pews because "when we remodeled the church 35 years ago we couldn't new pews that we liked as well as these" :laugh: and that remark was made to me 20 years ago!). In that small church we had a dozen kids normally and more occassionally depending on who was visiting from out of town. Sound wasn't a problem.

    The church I attend now seats 750+ and has a nice balcony where young parents can sit with their children and not disturb, well anyone! That's where I always sat with my nursery/CC hating kids. (I had/have mama's children :) )

    I think sometimes the perception is that young children will create a lot of noise, but really I think it depends on how well the parents are training them. (and the personality of the kid in question)
     
  18. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    We send babies to nurseries, children to children's church, the teens to youth group, and then wonder why they don't attend worship as young adults.

    We trained them not to.
     
  19. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    We have a nursery for those newborn to age 2, a pre-school program divided into 2/3 and 4/5 (Sonrise Kids), k-4th grade program (Kingdom Kids), 5 and 6 grade "tweeners" program (Club 56) and 7th - 12th grade program (Higher Groun'd) The 5-12 graders attend the adult worship, the rest have their own time during service. As someone who is in this ministry, this has been the most effective childrens program I have seen.
     
  20. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    The one I was in where children were not separated was very very small, though there was one just a little bigger where it was optional. In that first small one, we got a new pastor and he didn't like the "disruption" so he changed it and told us which ones of us God had called to "minister" to the little ones. I was one of them...but since he couldn't explain why God told him and not me and couldn't explain when he said this and refused to explain if he said me by name and if it was an audible voice, I didn't do it. In fact, I left the church.

    The one we're in now is much larger. It does seem more typical for larger churches to offer organized nurseries and such, although some do only have those for Sunday morning or Sunday morning and evening and leave Wednesdays clear.

    I think the children's ministries are pretty cool, but am against them to be used as a replacement for coming together as a group for worship and preaching, which is usually done on Sunday mornings. I can't wrap my mind around the idea that families shouldn't stay together for that.
     

Share This Page

Loading...