How would you respond?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by annsni, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. annsni

    annsni
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    Let's say there is a family with a number of kids in your church. The parents are active participants in ministry and the kids attend many of the activities and ministries. The problem is that the children are quite unruly. They run amok, throw things, run into people, destroy property as they are acting this way and generally are just not pleasant to be around. It seems the parents just don't see the behavior yet it's SO glaring that it's really uncomfortable.

    So how do you approach the parents about this? Just what would you say?
     
  2. go2church

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    Are these kids with some type of special needs?

    Usually, all things being shall we say usual, I don't ask the parents permission to call down unruly kids. If they are doing something they shouldn't, I make them stop. Don't yell, or grab the children or use general intimidation tactics, just a firm but clear stop doing that, do this instead. If you can't behave you will not get do what the other kids are doing and have to spend time sitting with me doing what I'm doing, getting my full attention. This is reinforced as many times as necessary. It is time consuming and inconvenient but one or two times usually does the trick.
     
  3. annsni

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    Nope - No special needs and mama makes sure they eat no sugar, no artificial anything and no colors or dyes.

    I agree with what you've said but what do you do when the mom or dad is there too and it is their job to discipline their kids? They sometimes might say something but more often than not they don't and at times it's just downright rude what they are doing. I don't get why anyone would let their kids act this way but just what do you do? Do you speak to the parents separate from the kids? What if the parents say that the kids are just active but not doing anything wrong??
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    I would go to the parents, name specific behaviors that need to be corrected and ask the parents to correct it. Make as little hubbub about it as possible but make the request known as clear as possible.
     
  5. Deacon

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    Running amok in church, sounds like my granddaughter :flower:

    Sounds like they're good people, they just need help.
    Come along side and help them.
    Be creative and deal with their problem.

    1. Invite them to lunch, speak directly to the parents at an off site spot. Tell them directly what you observe.

    2. Provide direct ways they can deal with the problem and improve their parenting skills. Put it in writing so they can have a copy.

    3. Notify the pastor of your meeting so he can assist with accountability (this is difficult in your position as the wife of a pastor).

    4. Begin to restrict unruly behavior by limiting where the kids can go, what events they can attend.

    5. Get a team together to assist the parents in their parenting skills and to watch over the property and limit damage.

    Remember, kids grow up and hopefully if dealt with correctly and effectively the behavior will end as they do. It may just be a case of youthful exuberance.

    Rob
     
  6. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
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    I have a dog like that....you gotta exercise them first before you can get his attention.
     
  7. Salty

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    Had a situation like this in the last church I was at.
    Two kids about age 3 & 5 - would crawl under tables, run around the church DURING WORSHIP SERVICE! Mom refused to do anything. Step dad did nothing. I talked to pastor - he said it did not bother him when he was preaching.

    I suppose they are still doing the same thing.
    By the way mom and stepdad now have 2 new youngers - - - deja vu'

    Now here is the clincher - when I went to the hospital the day mom was in the hospital for a minor procedure - Stepdad disciplined his step-kids -who were making less noise in the hospital waiting room - then they made during the church service.

    Go figure.....
     
  8. salzer mtn

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    A church without a nursery is a disaster ready to happen. Some churches want allow children under four years old in the auditorium during the service.
     
  9. PreachTony

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    My church (both churches I've attended) has never had a nursery. It's never been a problem for us. To call it a disaster ready to happen is a bit of a snap judgement, I fear.

    My grandfather used to tell me that if a preacher couldn't preach over a crying baby then he needed to check up. I would say that preachers should be able to keep preaching over a crying baby or unruly child, but parents also need to be teaching their children from an early age how to act in church. It's a tradition going back years. As I noted in Sunday School this morning, Paul even instructed Timothy, a student/follower/protege of his, in how he should "behave" in church.

    Just my two cents...
     
  10. Reformed

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    The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. You use the direct approach, in love of course. Take the parents aside and make them aware of what is going on. Tell them that you are glad their children are participating but that their behavior is disrupting the activities and ministries. If there are particular family issues that are leading to the disruptive behavior be cognizant of that. There may be an opportunity to minister to the parents needs as well as the childrens.
     
  11. salzer mtn

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    If your grandfather had ever set in the congregation and tried to listen to a message while a screaming child blasted in his ear he would have changed his mind. Preaching the gospel has nothing to do with how loud a preacher can deliver the message but I would say your grandfather was one of those that believed how a man delivers a message is what some call preaching. Preaching the gospel and hearing the gospel are very important. There should not be any distraction in preaching the gospel and hearing the gospel. The gospel of Christ gives life, and Satan will use every means he can to cause a hearer to be distracted. I know all about preaching while babies scream their lungs out, been there and done that. The preaching of the gospel is the most important part of the service, but it must not be to some people or they would do everything they could to assure both preacher and hearer would have quietness.
     
  12. PreachTony

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    He did sit in the congregation while a screaming baby, me, was in his ear. Since you didn't know him, please don't assign your own ideas to what he believed and knew. He was a faithful servant in the church for over 50 years. His belief was that children should be in the congregation because it accomplished several things. It allowed them to see from an early age how a service was conducted. It required parents to actually be parents during a service. Just listen to a small child that has actually sat in the service and you'll find out quickly just how much the child is hearing and taking in. Yes, they are often just parroting what their parents do, but is that not how we learn every behavior we have? And I don't know if you know it or not, but hearing a three-year-old say amen when a man is preaching is extremely uplifting.

    He strongly disliked the idea of nurseries because, as he told me, it takes people away from the service. Some churches he knew of (and I only knew in passing) had such a developed nursery system that they didn't allow children into the congregation to hear preaching until the child was over 13 years old. That, in my opinion as well as his, is just wrong.

    No, the volume at which a man preaches is not what makes it preaching. I would be a bit concerned if you have such a soft-spoken preacher that the littlest noise in the congregation could completely distract you from hearing him, though.
     
  13. salzer mtn

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    I gave you good sound reasons why there should be no distractions in the preaching services and all you gave me is tradition. My wife does nursery duty when my year old granddaughter comes to church with my son and my daughter in law. There is a TV screen set up in the nursery that my wife can both see the service and hear the preacher. Oh yes, just because the children are in the nursery doesn't mean they are aloud to run wild.
     
  14. PreachTony

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    I'm sorry, Salzer. I didn't realize that introducing children to the manner in which they should behave, and teaching parents how to show their kids how to behave, in church was "tradition." I guess I'm just not as strong in the faith as you are, since I would rather have everyone who could be in the congregation actually be there.

    Look, if it's an on-going distraction, then there are ways to deal with it, as have been laid out in several posts in this thread. There are currently six children in my church that are 7 years old and younger. Do you know how much of a distraction they cause? Minimal, to none. Why? Their parents actually teach them how to behave. We don't just shuttle them off to some back room. Not every church is big enough to warrant the luxury your church has of closed circuit TV and sound being run to other rooms in the church.

    By the way, your "good sound reasons" would preclude anyone in your church from ever saying "Amen" or agreeing with the preaching. Do you actually do that? Do you reprimand people who "Amen" the preached message? After all, there should be no distractions in the preaching services...
     
  15. salzer mtn

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    Right in the middle of a church service is not the place for someone else to start teaching parents and children how to act. There is an old saying that a ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. As Barny Fife would say, nip it in the bud. A persons response to what I have typed is based on how much they love to hear the gospel. If you listen to sermon audios go set a tape of a crying baby in the other ear and maybe you will feel right at home. All you've offered in your last post is a martyr complex and then to an extremist.
     
  16. PreachTony

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    I apologize for the extremity of my last post, salzer. I did let my emotion get the better of me.

    I have been in churches with no crying babies and I've been in churches where crying babies and kids running about was the norm. I felt the same spirit in both places. I allowed my emotion to get the better of me because I took offense to your statement that a church without a nursery is a disaster waiting to happen. That's just too much of a blanket statement for me. Essentially you've condemned every church in my neck of the woods to "disaster" status because we don't fit your ideal of what a church should have, hence my indignation. (As an aside, I'm very protective of my family, so any comments about them tend to skip over the "think-about-it" filter and go straight into the "get-upset-about-it" pile.) Again, I apologize for my behavior.
     
  17. annsni

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    OK - So let's say one of those families lets their children run amuk. Like throwing things, running up and down the aisle, maybe even running up to the pulpit, turning to the congregation, looking cute then start mimicking the pastor? The parents just sit there and don't do anything even when a few people have approached them about their children's behavior. So what do you do?
     
  18. PreachTony

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    You approach them, ann, handling things in gospel order. If they continue to persist in that behavior, then you take further steps.

    I've seen it happen before. A young family at my church with three young kids unfortunately had a child get away form them during the preaching. The pastor caught the child as he ran towards the front, picked him up, and carried him back to the parents, never once missing a beat in his preaching. The parents were sufficiently embarrassed to the point that it never happened again, even though no one said an ill word toward them.

    In my book, I don't see a good reason to remove children from the sanctuary. Others might. Beautiful thing is, we are all allowed our own opinions on the matter. I will say this for myself. If I ever one day have kids, and I visit a church that requires their children go to a nursery, I would be a bit wary of staying there. That's just me. Again, not everyone holds to the same beliefs and traditions I hold to.
     
  19. annsni

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    I agree that a forced nursery is not good but a nursery is a great blessing for a mom of little ones. We would keep our babies with us during the worship time but when it came time for the teaching, if they were awake, I would bring them to the nursery (once they were about 3+ months or more - I can't quite remember - just when it felt right to leave them). This way I could have 45 minutes of un-interrupted teaching time. If I needed to nurse them first, I either did it in church or down in the nursery and then I'd come back up by myself. I never let my kids cry in the nursery and gave strict instructions that I want to be called if they fuss at all because I always wanted my kids to know I was there if they needed me.

    But really, I appreciated having the nursery and the nursery workers. I also appreciated the wonderful people who poured their lives into the very young in Sunday School, teaching the kids on their own level. We definitely don't mind babies and children in the service as long as they are not overly disruptive. Right now we are pretty small and only have one 4 month old with us and her biggest distraction is just how stinking cute she is. :D
     
  20. PreachTony

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    That makes more sense to me, ann, than a forced nursery. The way my church does things is, during teaching time (Sunday School) we have classes for the youth, teenagers, and adults, so that everyone can learn at their own pace. When we get to the preaching, though, everyone is together in the auditorium. Our "nursery" Sunday School class is open throughout the service if one of the moms needs to take a child back there. We just don't enforce it.
     

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