Our house church has been called “out of the norm,” because our children out number the adults. At one time we had eight children birth through preschool age, along with a few pre-teens. Our meetings were (are) loud and a bit chaotic for anyone not used to the energy level. We didn’t really have the luxury of waiting a while before facing such questions as, “What do we do with the kids?”
For some, this question makes no sense. Children are part of the church just as the adults are and there’s not really anything to decide. Others have been accustomed to sending their children off to children’s church or Sunday school, and now don’t know exactly what to do with them now that those things no longer exist. Or maybe they’ve always had your kids with them, but are now starting to ask more questions about their roles within the church.
No matter where you are, it’s a good thing to pray about and discuss what your hopes, desires, and goals are for your children as a family. For the Cable family, once we knew what we believed about our role and our children’s roles, we ended up discussing these things with our church. Like I said, we weren’t the only ones with children. No one had ever said that they thought all children should do this, or do that. But since we spent time talking about them, we were able to understand better what other parents had in mind so that we didn’t walk on top of their goals by accident. For example, if one family wanted their children to sit quietly while we were talking, we wouldn’t announce loudly to our kids that they could go jump on the trampoline. Instead, we might have our children stay longer and color, then quietly dismiss them. We explain to them ahead of time that their best buddy is going to sit for a while longer and they can sit or stay.
I’m not saying anything new. I’m just emphasizing that we had to (1) make sure we were on the same page as a family, and (2) make sure we knew what other families wanted so we could respect them. Also, when you find out what other families are thinking, spiritual gifts may be brought to the forefront. Maybe a family feels like they are struggling teaching their children throughout the week and need help. Someone who has the gift of teaching children may step forward with ideas such as reading your Scripture from a kids Bible and incorporating them into your discussions, teaching them an instrument so they are more involved in singing, maybe even taking the little ones aside to spend some time teaching them while adults are still sharing about their week.
Good Communication and Love. Doesn’t it usually come down to those two things?