I want to be part of a church that welcomes kids.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
So if Jesus were preaching at your church today, do you think he would let kids in? Or would He say, “Put them in a side room where they can watch church on TV and won’t make any noise or disturb anyone.”
That’s what happened to us on a recent church hunt. We were on our way into the service when the attendant at the door noticed our baby carrier, stopped us and said, “Oh, you have a child with you? Here.” Then she proceeded to open a side door and motioned for us to go into the room. “You can watch the whole service from here on TV.”
My husband quickly responded with, “We can’t go in the main room?”
“Well, we are taping the service and trying to cut back on background noise.”
My husband works with expensive recording equipment on a daily basis and knows that the background noise would be minimal with the kind of equipment this place was using. He took one look around the room and said to me, “I could watch church on TV at home. I’m not sitting here for a whole hour and watching TV. Let’s go get lunch.”
It was obvious from our disdain, especially my husband’s, that we weren’t pleased that the church would not let kids in. We really wanted to be part of the main service. Had our baby been crying or making any noise at all, that might have been another thing. But we were new to the church, new to the area, and didn’t want to leave our not even 8 month old baby with complete strangers during flu season. And when the attendant heard us and saw us starting to leave, she said nothing…not even sorry.
I understand the distraction babies cause. They are cute, cuddly, and like to coo. People make silly faces at them when babies are at their best. When the babies are crying and at their worst, they are even more distracting. But life is just one big distraction anyway, isn’t it? It’s up to us to focus on Jesus. Babies are little people too. So if we want them to go hang around The Word and other believers, shouldn’t that be allowed? Shouldn’t we let kids in?
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
If a church doesn’t want our baby when she is quiet and cute, they don’t want us.
Do you have any immediate red flags when you are looking for a new church for your kids?