question re families and church

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by nodak, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    I know a family trying their dead level best to raise their grandkids to love and serve the Lord, facing some tough questions in doing so. I'd like your input and thoughts.

    This family lives in a very rural area with limited church choices. Most of those choices are eliminated by doctrine: no way will they go to an LDS or RCC service. They are not word of faith or Pentecostal.

    That leaves them with two choices. Both are sound doctrinally. Both offer what seem at first glance excellent Sunday School programs. Both have extremely long church services. (SS runs about 45 minutes at one, 1 hour at the other. Church runs about 2 hours 15 minutes at one, about one hour 30 minutes to one hour 45 minutes at the other.) Neither has any sort of children's church so the kids would be in those services the full time.

    They've tried them both and even at the shorter service, it isn't working with the kids. Not that they misbehave, just that they sort of mentally check out after a while and are bored. By the time the family gets home they say they are all tired, hungry, and the kids are pretty grumpy. (Kids are grade school age.)

    When I say "family" I mean the grandparents take the kids to church. Parents are nonchurched. I don't know if the parents are believers.

    These grandparents have decided to take the kids to Sunday School and then all go home for continued discussion over Sunday dinner. Then the kids go home to parents. Grandparents can attend Sunday pm activities and midweek prayer meeting and Bible study.

    It sounds like a workable plan under the circumstances to me, but the grandparents say they feel guilty skipping Sunday morning worship. I say better that than turning these children totally off to church.

    I'm wondering what you all would do under the circumstances these folks face?
     
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2000
    Messages:
    16,944
    Likes Received:
    1
    Would the grandparents be able to handle going to both SS and church if they didn't have the kids going with them? If the kids are behaving and just "tuning out," it sounds more like they simply have reached a point where being out for that long is stressful. How old are they? Are health issues/a long drive contributing to this being an issue?

    Those are just nosy questions. LOL

    I'd do just what they're doing. The kids need a working example. They're getting the sit down and learn stuff at the church, and the working example by watching the grandparents lives and talking to them at the house.

    But - if they feel guilty, that's a problem. That means it isn't working for them, which means they're going to have to at least consider something different. Which means what I or anyone else would do doesn't matter.

    Then again, sometimes, we have to make choices in life that leave us feeling guilty no matter what because sometimes there just isn't a perfect answer in our imperfect world.

    Which probably doesn't help you much, but those are my thoughts.
     
  3. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kids this age are not going to manage to hold concentration for that long, particularly when the message is directed to an adult listener. The question is, why is there no children's ministry offered at the same time as the service? Is it because of a lack of volunteers? If so, perhaps the grandparents could help organize a children's ministry that would address the spiritual needs of the kids without boring them to tears -- not to say the word of God is boring, but the lack of concentration for any child at that age is good enough reason to give them an alternative to the regular church service.

    If that isn't possible, the key to keeping them interested is to provide distractions for them that aren't distractions for everyone around them. If the church doesn't provide coloring-book type drawings that the children can doodle on and decorate during service, bring some from home and make sure they have adequate supplies that, again, won't get scattered all over the pew and become an issue for others. During the lead up to the sermon, during music and other preparations for the message, one of the grandparents could troop the kids out to the foyer, make sure they've had their bathroom breaks, maybe just let them walk around quietly and look at the things around the church. The Christian artwork that many churches have in those areas of the facility can be just as impacting as the message.

    Before the sermon starts, all the coloring, trooping, squirming and fidgeting needs to come to an end. Let the kids know it is time to listen. Make a game of it. Ask them to find one thing in the sermon they can ask questions about later, and one thing that they understand and can explain, to the best of their abilities. This will give them the concept of listening for edification, and it will impact their Christian life later on.

    This is a hard issue to deal with, I know, particularly if there aren't many other children attending the church so that a children's ministry isn't practical. The grandparents should be encouraged to pray, meditate on what God would have them do, and then follow through. Moreover, we as a body here on BB could pray for them and the children as well. If you will post names -- not even necessarily their own, God will know who we're speaking of -- I for one would be happy to do so.
     
  4. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Thanks! Let's just call them "the children".

    As I said, they are rural. That means churches with a total of less than a dozen adults, sometimes around that many children.

    From what I understand, most of the families with kids just leave after SS, so the grandparents wouldn't be doing anything odd if they choose to do so. Just having a rough time adapting to rural reality, I think.

    In the country, churches are tiny with no foyers. Not sure about bathrooms. Some have just one, some have out back facilities. (Yes, even today.) From what I understand they already have tried the coloring books, etc. Kids' ages range from I would say K through about 5th grade. Maybe 1st to 5th.

    Sometimes there are not extra rooms or workers for children's ministries.

    Gina B--not nosy at all. And yes, there is a bit of a commute involved. I think their guilt is coming from being given the "guilt trip" by one of the pastors.

    As I said, myself, I would just take the kids to SS and go home. Maybe sing some hymns going and coming, and continue discussing lessons during Sunday dinner. But I grew up rural and often that was all we had except for rare "preaching Sundays." I think if the kids get a good grounding, see Grandma and Grandpa live it out, and know there is more at church that the oldsters participate in it can work out fine.
     
  5. Thousand Hills

    Thousand Hills
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2010
    Messages:
    1,488
    Likes Received:
    4
    Just a couple of thoughts...

    Could one of the grandparents stay with the older kids in the service, with the grandparents taking turns each week. Just my opinion, but the older ones should be mature enough, and while they may not grasp all the concepts from the sermon you would be surprised at what they do learn. The other grandparent could take the younger ones and go to a SS classroom for nap time, story time, etc.

    It sounds like they may be traveling a long distance to get there. Could they possibly drive in the night before, stay at one of the member's homes (have time of fellowship that it sounds like they need), get a good nights rest, a hearty breakfast, and then maybe the tired/cranky/bored issues with the children wouldn't be compounded when it came to service time.
     
  6. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    My thoughts are the parents are responsible for the children, not the grandparents. The parents should be taking these kids to Sunday School and church, and going themselves. Something went wrong when these grandparents who are taking the grandchildren now were bringing up the future parents of these kids. Why are they unchurched, if they grew up in a Christian home?

    The best thing for the grandparents to do is what they should have done years ago, get these parents aside and tell them the facts of life, parents are responsible for their kids.

    Are the grandparents doing anything in this direction, or just giving the lazy parents a free pass on the assumption that it is better to take the kids to church than leave them alone with the lazy parents.
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,957
    Likes Received:
    96
    Im assuming they are baptists.....then where do they live?
     
  8. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not a problem. As I said, God will know who we're talking about. :thumbsup:

    Yeah, I grew up in a church like that in north Missouri. Honestly, to this day, I don't know that they've installed "indoor plumbing." :laugh:

    It does make it rough, as you said, because there isn't really anywhere to take the kids. I think you're right, it might be best just to leave after SS and do an at-home Bible study with them after Sunday dinner. My prayers are with them.
     
  9. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Wow Saturnpine--even the most devout parents sometimes have kids that go astray.

    But who knows the whole story? Maybe the grands were not even saved when raising their kids. Maybe they have already confronted the parents of these grandkids and gotten nowhere.

    If you are Calvinist, maybe the parents are not elect. If you are not, maybe they are exercising their freewill :wavey: Maybe they work Sundays of necessity. I don't know.

    All I know is I am going to encourage them, not attack them.
     
  10. Jacob_Elliott

    Jacob_Elliott
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2013
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    0
    This!:thumbsup:
     
  11. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    No children's ministry due to tiny church building, no other room, and not enough workers. This was covered.
     
  12. Judith

    Judith
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Messages:
    982
    Likes Received:
    10
    First one has to ask why aren't the parents in church and taking their own children? Someone failed miserably in their rearing. If the grandparents are living Godly lives, showing godly examples and praying for their grandchildren as well as their parents they are doing all they can.
     
  13. nodak

    nodak
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,265
    Likes Received:
    15
    Wow Judith, you aren't judgmental at all, are you?

    There could be a million valid reasons why the parents are not in church with their kids. To label the grandparents as miserable failures? I truly hope if you have children not one of them ever does anything you disapprove of.

    I've discreetly asked a bit myself. One of the parents works Sundays in emergency medicine.

    So I suppose if any judging the parents have a heart attack on Sunday, you don't expect medical care?

    The other parent, as it turns out, is Quaker with no meeting in the area. That parent worships alone but has no objections to the children going to a Baptist church.

    And guess what else? The grandparents? One wasn't saved when the now parent was a child. And the other wasn't a Baptist then.

    Sheesh. Wonder they are now.
     
  14. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2013
    Messages:
    8,448
    Likes Received:
    0
    No more so than any other Fundamentalist on the board. :BangHead:
     

Share This Page

Loading...