52 SUNDAYS: What If I Have Young Children?
This year we're challenging our members and regular attenders to attend a church service every week in 2014. You can read more about the 52 SUNDAYS challenge here. This article is part of a series of articles about 52 SUNDAYS.
What if I have young children?
The only thing harder than getting kids to church on time is sitting next to them after you arrive. Yikes! I had no idea.
What parent has not seriously questioned whether or not it was worth attending church with their infant/toddler/terrorist? Of course I'm joking about the terrorist part, but really...try standing in the lobby with a fussy baby. Try chasing your toddler up the middle isle or juggling your Bible and sermon notes while leading an impromptu arts and crafts class in the pew beside you. It was amazing how fast my kids could burn through every scrap of paper within a 3-pew blast radius.
Is it worth attending church if you are going to spend most of the service distracted by childcare? It's definitely going to be harder than staying home. No kidding. But is it worth it? If you're struggling with this question you're not alone. It was even covered by the Huffington Post this week.
Smartphones vs Crayons.
Seasons come and go and it won't be long before your infant is one of the preteens running amuck in the courtyard (I'll leave that for another post). I'm sympathetic. Yours is an intense season, but don't forget that it's not dissimilar to all the other seasons. Just ask the parent of a High School student...they'd trade you smartphones for crayons any day. There will always be distractions.
It's worth the extra effort.
My message to parents of young children is to press through and make the effort. It's worth it. Even when it doesn't feel like it in the moment. Here's a few reasons why.
- You're a part of our community and we miss you when you're gone.
- Your children are part of our community and we love them too.
- God's a big God. He can bless you even when you're not "fully engaged."
- Your children are learning even when they are squirming.
- It's not all about you. Give God your Sunday mornings. He understands parenting.