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.

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Debate Tuesday: The “Talky” Bit?

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So.

Heres a little something for those that have ever been involved with youth clubs.

It seems to be a staple of evangelical church youth clubs that every evening features a “God Slot”… or whatever you want to call it. If you’re not sure what I mean, its the part of the youth club wheres theres normally some sort of Christian input, bible study, or short preach of some kind.

The thing is… What do you do if you have the sort of group that doesn’t want to listen? Do you shout “Shut up, and listen to me. God loves you!

Is having some sort of Christian input a useful expectation on youth group leaders?

Is having a “God Slot” each week helpful?

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Debate Tuesday: Love or Judgement?

Tell young people about Judgement before you tell them about love

Tell young people about Judgement before you tell them about love

Well we’ve been doing a lot of clearing out recently around here; at one point I came across the above postcard, and to be honest… was kinda shocked. Thankfully it turned out to be publicity from last years Youthwork Summit inviting us to discuss the above statement.

Should we tell young people about judgement before love?
Does our attitude towards certain young people speak of judgement more then love?

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Weekly RoundUp: The Serious Edition

Trigger warnings for this one, as some of the links include discussion about possibly sensitive topics. Please remember that some of the following in particular is a review of the comments and discussion made over the last week, and as sometimes is the case, some of which have been apologized for:

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Weekly Round Up: The You’re Fired Edition

Happy Easter Everyone…

Here’s our weekly round up:

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Importance of Asking?

A quote that stood out from reading through “Who Needs Words?“:

“Your world is not the same as mine. It has different rules, a different history and a different culture running through its veins.”

This did make me wonder:

When putting together Church programs do we talk more then we should listen and ask?

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Babinity?

Came across this on Amazon…

Does this make sense to anyone?

Achieve several awesome goals at one time! Challenge your entire Youth Group to memorize John 1:1. Raise money for your Youth Group through a God-endorsed cause (literacy) by reselling this book. Promote life-changing early baby literacy in your church and in your church’s childcare program (check with high school counselor regarding applicability of community service credit). Promote salvation and maybe even close the achievement gap. Baby Literacy Worldwide is a group of Volunteers who believe that Window 1 literacy can close the achievement gap. We explain it like this. God wants readers, why else would He have written a bible? Continue this thought. When is a person most like God? At birth. “God-like.” When does a person learn most like God? At birth. “God-learning.” Birth-to-age-two is the first and best learning opportunity of life, we call it Window 1. Window 1 is the “digital copier” phase of life because a Zero-two-er simply absorbs and records in this learning phase. The God-like aspect of Window 1 is in the fact that for every piece of information digitally copied by Baby, three more pieces of information can be absorbed-exponential God-learning. Baby + Divinity = Babinity™. If you believe that the bible is the living word of God, then you likely agree that John 1:1 is a most wonderful scripture of the bible. Window 1, a baby’s God-learning, and John 1:1 are a perfect match. Babinity, Salvation Starts At Birth, means 1 minute-a-day of flash cards for 24 months and zero-two Babies will read and maybe even will have a jump start at salvation. Babinity is the matching of the exponential-God-learning-Window 1, first and best learning phase, with John 1:1. The goal of this book is to serve as a catalyst to urge each and every member of your Youth Group to memorize John 1:1. At the same time, stir Youth Group members to get involved in Window 1 literacy (start your research at BabyLiteracyWorldwide.com) by donating their time to your Church’s childcare program to teach early literacy. Finally, allow you to resell this book to those in your congregation who are so moved to purchase this book from you for a recommended donation of $20 (Pastor approval for this program required first, of course) for a 100% fundraising profit. Learn, teach, grow and fundraise all at the same time! More information available at Babinity.com.

Does this make sense to anyone? I’m kinda confused by it all…

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Weekly RoundUp: The Busy Edition

Busy… busy week in the blog world this week:

  • Jesus Needs New PR gets upset… but to be honest, I didn’t even finish watching the video in question…
  • The “Church” discussion continues at The Big Bible.
  • @bigdaddywhale asks a question
  • Did you know that youth pastors aren’t real missionaries?
  • David Keen wonders if The Doctor gets religion?
  • Mike Peatman has been blogging on his Greenbelt memories
  • … and finally… Want to see more from the churchsofa?  Andesmedia looks at social media / digital world, as well as looking at other projects we may get involved with.  Its very early days, but please shout if something doesn’t seem to be working!

Married. Dad.

Blogger / WordPress / Email List Guy.

Photographer.

Support worker. Short sentences. I write Bio in.