As a result of my recent health troubles I have visited several different churches. One of the things that has struck me, in several churches, is the mass exodus that takes place part way through the service as all those leave who are either attending or assisting with the childrens’ / young peoples’ activities.
Sometimes it appears that about 40% of the congregation are extracted from the worship service. I know that having the children in church for the whole service raises its own issues. Here are some thoughts though:
- Having so many leave takes away from the desire for the whole church to be together to hear the Word together.
- It takes away from us being a family together
- The flow of the service is disrupted.
- If a visitor has come with children, it can be disconcerting to them to suddenly faced with their children being expected to leave their presence and go off with some strangers.
- The children are given the impression that certain parts of church are not for them.
- If the children do stay in then there has to be thought given to making sure that they know that they are a part of what is happening. This particularly applies to the preaching.