Drawing a line in the sand; end of discussion!

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Pleasant_Bill, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. Pleasant_Bill

    Pleasant_Bill
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    Recently a church I've attended in the South Atlanta area has adopted a policy that quite a few members of the congregation has a problem with. Children under a certain age (eight I believe) are not allowed in the Sanctuary during service. If the parents want their children to attend service with them, they are directed to an 'overflow' area to basically watch the service on a television set.

    The reason being given is the leadership doesn't want the parents to be distracted during service. However, a person on the staff let it slip that it's actually the Senior Pastor that finds it distracting and is the reason this policy has been adopted.

    This naturally caused quite a bit of dialog in the congregation as well as several members on 'Welcome' duty refusing to tell parents they can't bring their children into the Sanctuary. The congregation wasn't addressed initially and it's festered for nearly 8 months now, becoming the white elephant in the room.

    The Senior Pastor finally addressed the congregation a week or so ago, stating that he's 'drawing a line in the sand and that either you're with him or against him. END OF DISCUSSION'. This Pastor has made himself unavailable for discussion in the past year or so, and has since began deferring questions/issues to the Executive Pastor.

    Several people that have tried to discuss this and/or other issues (including church financial questions/concerns) have been labelled 'malcontents'. Other members are being told by the staff members (possibly even the Pastor's wife) not to associate with those individuals that would question the church leadership.

    Naturally, this is causing even more divisiveness with members. Couples affected are now leaving the church as they have no avenue to express their concerns with this issue or will be ostricized if they continue questioning it.

    How would you deal with a Pastor who thinks it's okay to make such a policy and then make the statement that it's off limits to talk about it?
     
  2. HAMel

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    The reason being given is the leadership doesn't want....

    It would appear to me there is no leadership in this church.

    I can understand the need for parents to control their children while in church but compared to those who probably snore while asleep, which would be the bigger distraction?
     
  3. DiamondLady

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    Meet with the pastor and suggest an alternative......allow the children to participate in the service until time for the sermon, then excuse them to children's church where they have an age appropriate Bible lesson and associated activities. It works quite well at our church and satisfies the parents who are trying to teach their children to participate in "big church" as well as the older folks who want it quiet during the sermon. It helps the kids, so on Sunday nights, when we don't have children's church, they're better equipped to sit with the parents and be quiet...it also helps their energy level is worn down from AWANA!
     
    #3 DiamondLady, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2011
  4. blackbird

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    For the answer to paragraph #2 above----------------see paragraph #1 above!!!!!!!:type::type:
     
  5. Old Union Brother

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    I agree Blackbird. Unbelievable actions on the part of this so called pastor!
     
  6. Pleasant_Bill

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    :laugh: @ the snoring comment.

    I just find it amusing that the Pastor would issue this policy to inconvenience who knows how many families to ensure he's not distracted.
     
  7. freeatlast

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    The story is sort of one sided. I am not saying it is not as you say, just that it is one sided. Also you did not describe the church polity. Based on the limited information that you gave if you are discontent with the church, leave.
     
  8. Pleasant_Bill

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    As I indicated; he's made himself unavailable to the congregation and issued that edict that discussion of this subject is tabled. 'My way or the highway'.

    Apparently he is content in losing people who would question him on things because new Christians are still coming in the doors. What he fails to realize is that those who tithe are usually the seasoned Christians (the ones leaving)and not the 'new Christians'.
     
  9. Pleasant_Bill

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    It's a CEO/CFO Pastorial Led Church. There is a Leadership Team and a Finance Team. There is talk of them being combined. Either way, if you are on either of those teams and raise any questions you 'don't share the vision of the church'. You will most likely be removed from that position.

    As far as the story being one sided, I'll meet with to let him know to log in and give his side of it.........oh wait, he won't meet with any members. :D
     
    #9 Pleasant_Bill, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2011
  10. Tom Bryant

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    We are only getting one side of the issue. If we only read one side, we cannot come to any kind of intelligent conclusion. I am not suggesting that you are lying or misrepresenting anything. I am saying that you have a point of view and that colors your facts.

    But, speaking as a pastor, there's something very unsettling about a church member taking his argument with the pastor to a group of people who are not part of the church.

    But let me ask a question, is this the same church you were leaving and unhappy with in June?
     
    #10 Tom Bryant, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2011
  11. convicted1

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    I heard a preacher tell a woman(in the middle of his sermon{she was going to take her baby outside because of crying}) "if I can't preach over a baby, something's wrong", meaning to not take the child outside. If a preacher can't "outpreach" a baby, something's wrong.
     
  12. freeatlast

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    Thank you for the information. Based on this I would say absolutely leave if you are discontent instead of causing trouble and dishonoring the Lord's name.
     
  13. Tom Bryant

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    The issue is not whether I can yell louder than a baby because I can. The issue is "Can people listen to what I am saying rather than the baby's cries?"
     
  14. Aaron

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    Har dee har har.

    To the OP: A congregation full of unruly kids? You can have it.
     
  15. JesusFan

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    My baptist Church has adopted the policy that the parents are responsible to make sure their kids do not "act up" during the service...

    rarely have to deal with younger children though, as we have a large and active kids Church thatoperates at same time as main service for Adults, so they are already occupied at that time...

    The time that we face younger kids are after the service, or the one Sun a month Kids Church 'take over" running the main service...


    So adopting an active children church should eliminate the problem to a large extent, or else make sure parental supervision in in force, but do NOT forbid kids to come, didn't Jesus request the kids to be allowed to come unto Him?


    Also, sounds like the pastor playing 'power trip", and wants to excercise cultic control over his Church!
     
  16. InTheLight

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    Could you clarify? For the past year or so, the pastor has not only refused to discuss the children in the sanctuary issue but other issues as well?
     
  17. nodak

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    Been there done that with a CEO wannabe pastor.

    First the kids were ousted. Then the old folks who could not stand for 45 minutes singing followed by 1 1/2 hr "preaching" (think rambling.)

    Didn't take me long to remember I am BAPTIST which means no mediator between me and God but Jesus Christ.

    Found me a real church and haven't looked back.
     
  18. sag38

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    Pastors probably tend to be a little more weary of these kind of threads. I've seen many a good man maligned by folks who chose not only to disagree but to be viscous about it. I'm not saying this is the case but it's hard when all we are hearing is just one side of the story.
     
  19. Benjamin

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    If babies are crying it is simple courtesy to leave the room with them. As for the rule of up to “8 year olds”; I could see how a few families with unruly children could be very disruptive and become a problem. I could also see those same the parents of the same families that can’t control their children raising a stink while having trouble obeying the rules. I too suspect there’s more to the other side of the story. OTOH, maybe some advice on how to occupy young children and train them to be still for an hour might be more helpful than drawing a line in the sand.
     
  20. Jim1999

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    I can remember a crying baby in the middle of my sermon. I went down to the lady, held her baby in my arms and carried on preaching. When the baby settled down, I handed it back and no more problems. I like to think I taught a lesson without hurting the parent.

    There are many ways to handle a situation. We need to use them....Oh, I seldom preached over 30 minutes and always ended the morning service with lunchtime in mind, and that many of these people would be back for evening service at 7.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     

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