I am a Dad of two young boys. While they are both different, they are similar in the fact that they have a lot of personality, they are not shy, and like me they lack an inside voice.
For years Church was really hard for us, because let’s be honest taking young kids to church can be really difficult. To make matters even more complex, as a Pastor I almost always had responsibilities and duties on Sunday morning, which meant my wife was flying solo most weeks.
The reason I share that with you is because I get it.
In fact, I see you. I see you on Sundays scrambling around, coming in already exhausted from the trip to church, with your arms filled with the diaper bag and all your gear to help survive the next hour and a half. I see you at the end of the worship gathering, even more tired when you came in wondering if what you are doing matters, and wondering if your child was a distraction.
If you have ever felt that way, this post is for you. A few years ago, I read a blog post called “Dear Parents With Young Children In Church” that was an inspiration to me both then and now. While the original version is better than mine, here are a few things I want you to know.
- We love you and are so glad you and your family are part of the church! Seriously, we are a church family of families. When we planted Redemption Church, we launched the church with you in mind. We wanted to create a place where people, especially families with young children would feel welcome. Our earliest launch team meetings had children (including mine) running around at planning meetings, prayer meetings, and every event you could think of.
- You are not a distraction! I get it, you are trying to be polite, you do not want the sound of your child giggling, crying, or getting restless to be a distraction for others. I appreciate your consideration, but I want to take some pressure off of you. You are welcome, your child is welcome, and so are all the little noises that come with him or her. Different churches have different ideas and philosophies about children. I have visited churches that do not allow children to be in the service, but that is not our style.
- Your struggle is real, but what you are doing matters. Your weekly effort, reveals your heart and what every parent eventually learns is kids don’t do what you say, they do what you do. By carving out time each week to gather with other believers to worship, learn, and build relationships your child is learning about the importance of community, and the cooperate worship gathering. While it might not feel like it, what you are doing is called discipleship. You are teaching your child the importance of worship as they watch you sing, they are learning the beauty of community as they watch you connect, they learn the importance of scripture as they see you balance your Bible in one hand.
- We are here to help! One of the reasons we have a nursery and Children’s ministry is so that children can learn about Jesus in a fun, safe, and age appropriate environment. While Redemption Church is a young, scrappy, start-from-scratch church we have a pretty incredible Children’s Ministry. We have incredible volunteers who put in a lot of time and effort to make sure your child will be cared for each week. When you are ready, and feel comfortable, give it a try. Until then, know we love you and we are happy to worship with you and your children each week.
- Last but not least, we are so thankful for you and your family. The church family would not be the same without you. You and your family matter, and it is a joy and privilege to walk alongside you together in life. You probably do not realize it, but you are an inspiration. The effort you are putting in, the energy it takes for you to show up on Sundays, and the way you love your child makes us all better.
If by some chance you are a parent with young family and you are looking for a church, I would like to personally invite you to check out Redemption Church. If you are looking for the perfect church, we are not it. If you are looking for a local church that loves Jesus, families, and seeing people grow in their walk with Christ, then check us out!