Getting Little Children To Church: A Timeline.

Have you ever struggled to get yourself to church on time? If you have children, you’ll know that the struggle to get children AND adults to church on time, has its own challenges*. Now admittedly we only have Little Sofa, so perhaps this speaks of our own organisation, but I figured it would be interesting to note down our typical timeline of events before we leave for church on a Sunday morning.

The minutes before we need to leave, are in bold…

65 minutes : Everyone goes to get clothes on.
60 minutes: Little Sofa successfully lobbies for a bath.
55 : Upon being told that bath is ready, Little Sofa proceeds to play statues.
50 : Little Sofa is put into the bath.
30 : Negotiations begin over who washes whose hair.
20: Hair washed. Little Sofa thrown into clothes.
15: Negotiations over different clothing begin.
10: Daddy challenges Little Sofa over who can get ready first. Little Sofa shouts “Me!”
9 minutes, 50 seconds. : Daddy checks twitter.
9 minutes, 49 seconds : Little Sofa declares that she is ready, and yes. Indeed. She also has shoes on.
8 minutes : Daddy falls downstairs, he finds Little Sofa was joking and is in fact just finishing getting clothes on.
5 minutes : The Game Of Statues restarts.
3 minutes: There is a shout “I’m already! I got my shoes on before you!”. She is in fact, next to the front door, with shoes on. Where as, Daddy doesn’t have shoes on. Or socks for that matter.

Time to go!!!!: There is a shout of “Can I bring all my babies” *proceeds to go upstairs to bring, all her babies**

5 minutes late : ALL THE BABIES ARE IN THE CAR. Once the car is parked up, there is a request of… “I want to bring all the babies… they might cry if I leave them in the car!”
Negotiations begin over which babies should stay in the car.

*Obviously some families manage to get everyone of their huge family to church on time. Every weekend. Fresh faced, and smiling. These people are obviously on a heavenly fast track, as examples of pure Godly organisation.

** Dolls. Not babies. I repeat. They are really dolls. Lots and lots of dolls.

Not babies.

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A Church Survival Kit For New Parents

Have you got to the stage where you have a little version of yourself? (Otherwise known as a baby). Are you worried about what you need to keep a baby entertained in a Church service? Well this might help…

We have a selection of special tools to distract, entertain, and comfort mini-sofa, while ensuring her parents also get a chance to take part in the service.

So we’re proud to present, the “Take Your New Born / Baby to Church Survival Kit”

  1. Dummies
  2. Muslin to cover up the fact your using a dummy.
  3. Spare phone battery. Because you’ve been up for a long long time… and so has your phone…
  4. Energy drink – Because having coffee after the service is a little late.
  5. Note pad, and pen – useful for things such as funny drawings, paper plane material, and possibly sermon notes.
  6. Church Approved Toy. (Does not make noise, nor make other kids, or preacher jealous that he/she can’t play with said toy).
  7. Nappy bag – with enough nappies to last the length of the sermon.
  8. Milk bottles containing Ministry Approved Milk.
  9. Breakfast – because you were busy before the service making sure everyone else ate! Possibly a bacon roll? (Warning. People around you may be tempted to mug you for it)
  10. Push Chair. So you can race other “drivers” around the church hall.
  11. Map containing directions to nearest exit – in case of sudden ‘exit’ issues…
  12. Children’s Bible – because we all need help understanding sermons sometimes.
  13. A note in your organiser letting you know that the service is starting 30 mins earlier… you’re never going to get there on time otherwise…

Any more that we’ve missed?

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Christian Clothing of The Week!

Parenting. Its filled with choices.

Such as how much attention you should give certain behavior… how much screen time is a bad thing… and choosing to remember that warm whiskey isn’t a good way to send children to sleep.

Then there are choices about what clothing to buy…

YallNeedJesus
Found at the Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Page.

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How Toddlers Make You Late To Church

Kids in Church

A little miracle happened on Sunday. The Church Sofa family made it to the Church service on time! Now this wasn’t without the toddler seeming to put her best efforts into making us late for Church. As we were leaving the house for the second time that morning, I wondered exactly how Toddlers can make you late for Church.

  1. The toddler asks… “One more Topsy and Tim / Bing / Kate and Mim Mim”
  2. The cry of, “I need a WEEEE”, just as you’re leaving the front door.
  3. Hiding your Bible. (Or using your Bible as a chew toy)
  4. The toddler deciding that, they don’t want that doggy toy, they want the other doggy toy.
  5. Dropping the toy Jesus just as you’re leaving.
  6. “One more Topsy and Tim / Bing / Kate and Mim Mim… Pleeeeeeaaaaaasssssseeee”
  7. Wanting to go in the driving seat of the car, and making that known by climbing past their car seat, and into the front.
  8. Deciding that no, they don’t want the bribe you offered to get out the house.
  9. Hearing a cry of “Oh No, POO!”
  10. Wanting to bring about 20 to many toys, therefore its time to turn into a top negotiator, and agree on an amount of toys that are acceptable to all parties.

What other ways do toddlers make you late?

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Dangers Parents Face When Bringing A Child To Church

Congratulations. You have managed to make it to Church.

Actually hang on, you’ve managed to get to Church and not forget any family members on route. Massive Congratulations on not losing anyone.

Now, if your group includes a child, you need to remember – there are certain dangers you need to look out for when you take a child to Church.

  1. Being late, and having to contend with a church warden / steward “encouraging” you and your wiggly toddler to the front of the Church… whilst there are safer seats (and space to run at the back).
  2. Vicar: “Now lets take a moment of silent prayer”. Little One: “I NEED A POO!!!”.
  3. Formally breast fed toddlers getting jealous of the sight of a really little one getting breast fed… and running over to get a quick meal.
  4. The kid getting confused between a potty and the baptismal font.
  5. Is it your turn on the preaching rota? This will be the Sunday when your kid demands to play trains…with you… during the sermon.
  6. Has your toddler ever took their nappy off by themselves? THIS could be when they work it out!
  7. Toddler. Tantrums. Could be anytime?
  8. Your child refuses to be in their group (koala effect), but is too unsettled to be quiet enough for you to take them into the main service, hence you are stuck in the corridor limbo.

Any more you’ve come across?

Post originally appeared on The Dads Sofa.

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Toys To Bring To Church

Kids in Church

Christmas with a toddler, I’m sure you can imagine brings its share of challenges and joys. Challenges are such as wondering how much chocolate you should allow them to eat, and for yourself, how much alcohol can you drink on Christmas Eve, and cope with the earlier wake up on Christmas Day. The joys… well… there are toys, Toys, and more TOYS.

But what toys should you bring to church?

We’ve done a bit of research and have found the following (mostly toddler) toys that are possibly perfect for church:

Daniel and the lion’s den

DanielAndTheLionsDen

Includes a hole to play “Boo” through, an excuse to pretend to loudly eat Daniel, and a chance to make lion style “Raaaa!” noises. With no inbuilt noises, this would be a great toy to keep little ones quiet in church. Found at Amazon.

Bible Opoly Board Game

Bibleopoly

Do you enjoy those Monopoly inspired arguments? How about having an excuse to have those arguments in the back of the church hall? Bearing in mind this is “A monopoly version where cooperation and not accumulation is the key”, I cant help but feel that if youre sneaky enough to win at Monopoly, then you’ll win at this. Just remember to make your peace with each other before communion. Found at Amazon.

I’m sure toddlers would love playing with the money, or consuming the church pieces!

Plan of Salvation Ball.

HeavenBall

According to the product description, this is “A squeeze ball to throw around and learn about God’s plan for salvation.” Perfect for a game of catch during the service. Even better for toddlers learning how to throw. Bonus points if the vicar needs to catch it at any point. Found at eden.co.uk

Plush Jonah and Fish.

Plush-Jonah

Perfect for joining in with a baptism service… and the ensuring scream when the child in question starts to realise that the fish doesn’t actually swim. Found at eden.co.uk

Plush Noahs Ark 10 Piece Play Set.

Plush-Noah-Ark

All those animals! For so long!

Did they all get on all the time? Or were there massive arguments? Did a monkey try fighting a lion?

Bring this toy to church and let your little one work it out!

Found at eden.co.uk

Tambourines!

We’re told to make a joyful noise to the Lord! Make a joyful noise with these “Make a Joyful Noise Tambourines”. Great for use during sermons!

Make-A-Joyful-Noise

 

Found over at designed2bsweet.com.

Be David!

DavidAndGoliath

Dont just listen to the sermon / talk on David and Goliath.

Your kids could be David with this slingshot!

Again bonus points if they (you) hit the speaker!

Hope you find this useful. Please share in the comments below if you know of any other useful toys to bring to church.

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How Kids Disrupt Church Services (A guide through the ages)

Kids in Church

The Sofa is pleased to share this guest blog from Kate from Londonwithatoddler.com. Kate describes herself as a “mother, writer, thinker. Granted, the kind of things I think about are along the lines of “What’s that smell?” or “Where can I buy chocolate around here?”, so maybe not that much of a thinker.  But I am definitely the first two”. Recently she has been thinking about the many different ways kids could disrupt Church Services.

LittleFamilyHere’s her look at children and young people in Church:

Children in church is always one of those contentious issues that puts people on edge – parents are constantly anticipating the next cry of “But what IS a virgin?” during carol services, meeting leaders are always keeping a close eye on where they leave that cordless microphone in case it falls into the small hands and the pensioners are torn between cooing at the cute baby and wishing that they would stop crying because it really interferes with their hearing aid frequency.

As with all things though, isn’t it the unknown and unpredictable that causes the most worry? So, with that in mind I have spent some time studying the habits of children in church and have put together this handy age-by-age guide of just how children will disrupt your service. Once you can predict their movements, you can relax.

0-1 Contrary to popular belief, a newborn baby is one of the easiest types of child to take into a service. They sleep all the time. If they’re in a sling, being soothed by the latest Hillsong drum fill, they will barely open an eye for the whole service, much to the disappointment of the old ladies cooing over them. But as they get older, the capacity for mayhem increases. Maybe they’ll cry a bit. Maybe they’ll need a feed, exposing the whole church – and especially the worship band at the front- to the possibility of a nipple of some kind being flashed about. There may also be some suspicious smells. But they’re child’s play compared to toddlers…

1-3 The toddler. Comes with the advantage that they can be bribed into near-silence with a packet of Hula Hoops. Comes with the disadvantage that they will throw a tantrum if the packet is the wrong colour or they don’t have the right sippy cup. Prone to hiding under the altar/welcome desk and arguing with each other.

3-5 The age of maximum destruction. The world record for the number of times a 3-year-old has run around the entire congregation in one service currently stands at 5500. Depending on the length of your service, that’s between 30 and 92 circuits per minute. Consider that for a second. They also enjoy playing the piano/drums/percussion/anything they can get their hands on as loudly and frequently as possible. Keen on doing actions at the front but almost impossible to remove once they’ve taken to the stage. Never let them near a microphone unless you want the congregation regaled with tales about dinosaurs or mangled versions of the “Octonauts” theme tune.

5-10 School age. Where children can theoretically sit quietly and pay attention to someone talking for literally minutes on end. Pity that they squeeze every ounce of their “sitting still” ability out during the working week. So, they’ll spend Sunday mornings complaining that they’re bored and asking when Kids’ Church starts. Then they’ll find another 45 minutes’ worth of good behaviour for the Childrens’ workers before melting down during coffee time and forcing their parents to abandon their much-needed cup of hot caffeine.

10+ The dreaded Youth. A time of drink, drugs and wild living…and that’s just the Youth Pastor. Expect the worst and it probably won’t happen, but they will almost certainly fall asleep during the preach after a heavy night of partying/video gaming/Bible studying. Teenagers are not natural morning people. Employ a few drum shields to deflect the worst of the snoring.

So now you’re prepared….let the little children come to you.

Would you like to guest post for The Church Sofa? If so give this a read and drop me an email!

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