Three years ago I wrote one of my favorite blog posts, Children in Worship. It is a reflection on the role of children in worship written from my perspective as a first-pew sitting pastor's husband and father wrestling a 2 year-old in the pews. A few months later, balancing a 3 year-old and a 6 month-old, I wrote another post, "Shame on You." If at all you are interested in issues related to children in worship, please read these old posts and the wonderful comments that were given. They serve as background for this current reflection.
- I expect children in worship.
- I want other worshippers to expect children in worship.
- I want parents to know how to manage their children's noise levels, removing their children from the nave when necessary.
- I want other worshippers to put up with a reasonable amount of child noise (crayons falling on the pew, whispering, the ocassional but brief cry, etc.).
- I want congregations to make clear their perspectives on children in worship – whatever they might be – and to teach and re-teach these perspectives to worship leaders, parents, and the general membership.
- I want parents and congregations alike to take seriously the baptismal vows – which the parents made and which the congregation promised to support – of bringing the children to the Lord's house.
I know this is an amazingly broad question, but . . . but what are your thoughts on children in worship, not just philosphically, but logistically? How do you answer these questions and how to you put these answers into practice?