A Question about "Children's" Church

Peggy - posted on 01/11/2010 ( 42 moms have responded )

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Our church has been having Children's Church for about the last year. We are having trouble really getting it up and running. In fact the person that was in charge of it--resigned this past Wednesday. Our church has tabled naming someone to take his place. My questions--what ages should go to Children's church? We have kids from newborn all the way up to 18 going. And who should go to Children's Church. We have the husbands of the ladies that are helping out with children's church going back and sitting back there and we have both parents of all the children going. I was always under the impression it was for children and it was also to give parents a chance to really enjoy the church service without having to take care of their own children. My child is 14 and refuses to go back to children's church--she had rather sit up front with the regular service and then there are three 18 year olds and one 17 year old that just go to Children's Church so they don't have to listen.

Peg

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Darcel - posted on 01/25/2010

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Forgive my ignorance please... what is "Children's Church" and how is this different from Sunday School? I dont have either in my church. My minister says: " everyone in the family eats at the same table at home for dinner, so we will all eat at the same spiritual table for our spirtual food." His reasoning is: Jesus let the little children come to him so we do not seperate the children to learn about him in another room.

Being raised in this environment never attending Sunday School or Children's Church I learned quite a bit as a child just listening to our regular service while coloring or drawing quietly in the pews. So please forgive me, have a bit of patience and explain the purpose of Children's Church and Sunday School.

Linda - posted on 01/12/2010

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I agree that nursery should be for pre-schoolers (infant - 5) First - fifth grade can be in children's church. Older kids should be in church. It helps to structure the childrens church like "church" not sunday school. No one should be allowed in unless they are the right age or, signed up to work that Sunday. Parents should stand at the door to meet their children after church...no one needs to come in the room. It's hard to stick to those rules but they really do work. There should be a singing time, worship time, story time, prayer time, offering time, etc, formatted like a service but down to the childs level (puppet show, motion songs, etc.) The leaders should love kids and want to teach them about the Lord...it should be their "ministry" to work with children, not just to get out of their own service..lol....

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In response to Carrie's post just a few back... I agree with both ways. But I wanted to say something I thought was important. People often talk about how church is not age-appropriate, that kids don't get anything out of it. I don't think this is true. My kids have ALWAYS sat with me in church, just like I sat with my parents in church. I saw them usher, read, sing in choir, and participate from our pew. What better example of worship is there????? They will not understand a sermon in it's entirety if they are young, but like Carrie's 6 year old hears things, so do mine. Plus pastor often makes us laugh- wow- they get to see that church is serious AND full of JOY just from pastor- and with singing! I always let them color- and YES, kids are still listening while coloring. My oldest has even commented that the sermon was about what they learned in SS that day- all while doodling and looking like she was not listening but was. Also, kids need to realize that they just need to be still sometimes, not everything is about them. My kids sit in restaurants, they stand in lines and they behave (more often than not) and I believe their experience having to sit in church has tremendously aided in their ability to do so. They still get their age-appropriate lesson in Sun. School before or after worship, depending on what time we go too. I love that it's something we do together as a family, all in our pew; when we say The Lord's Prayer our family holds hands and prays-- that would not happen if the kiddos were absent. They see me worshiping our God and my hope is that if they see how much I love Jesus---- maybe they'll want to love Him too! :) I know this is not at all what you asked about your question Peggy- but I felt compelled to share this! GOD BLESS!

Carrie - posted on 01/16/2010

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Well ladies I'm 43 and I have been teaching children's church for 23 years. I now believe that children's church is a very bad idea. I think a nursery for toddlers is good but children need to be in church worshiping and watching their parents worship. We live in a society that is always separating children and parents. Kids should see their parents worshipping and be in the service where they can have some time in there very busy lives to "be still" and maybe get a chance to hear God speak. My 6yr old makes comments about the sermon all the time, even though I think he isn't listening at all. I just think kids should be with their parents. I have recently stopped teaching the C.C. and am now enjoying worship with my kids. My kids are enjoying it also. If it isn't working out at your church maybe you should propose not having it. God bless you and I hope you find His will for you and yours.

Celicia - posted on 01/14/2010

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There should be a nursery for the little ones from newborn to four. Then when they hit school age, around five years old, you should have children church for them. Then middle school should have a youth group and high school have a different youth group. If they are all combined, the message can't possibly hit them the same. A four year old learns different than a seven year old, different than an eighteen year old. Combining them only causes age groups to be left out. Also, as for parents, they should be able to visit the childrens church so that they are comfortable with what is being taught, but they should be thoroughly encouraged to attend the actual church service. Unfortunately, this is a way for a lot of parents to "got to church" but not really pay any attention. You can't expect them to get the full message of God if the children's pastor is using puppets or games to interact with the children. That goes for the same for those little seven year olds who can't be expected to fully understand all that a teenager can. Besides, discussions that should be taking place among teens (drugs, purity, etc) should not be allowed to be discussed in front of little ones, but you also can't just avoid these topics. So, maybe your church should look into splitting these age groups up, finding teachers and pastors that actually are called for the ministry of each age group, and go from there. Bring your church members together for prayer, and trust that God will bring the correct staff to you.

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Charity - posted on 06/13/2011

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In our church we have three childrens groups. Nursery- infant thru 3. Promised Land- 4-kindergarten. Jr. Church- 1st thru 3rd grade. After that the kids join the adult service.

Vicki - posted on 01/30/2010

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As a Christian Education Director, I was hired to develop all the programming for a church which had none. Are you considering taking over this ministry? Consider setting a couple guidelines:
All preschool and elementary age children are welcome.
No high school age teens or adults unless they are trained and actively teaching or helping in some way.
No toddlers and babies, there is a nursery program available.

In our church, Sunday school is not children's church. Sunday school is a separate time for learning, music, and activities. Children's church is a "kid friendly" worship which uses kid's music, easier readings (with stories), and simple lessons to teach that Sunday's message.

Re-read Jossie Corrie's post. She nails your questions. If you don't have the numbers to support splitting everyone up, pray for a strong leader to come and build the program.
Recruit the teens, give them responsibility. You might be surprised at who rises as leaders. It has taken me three years to get the program into a rhythm and will take a couple more to get it off the ground. Please do not give up! Children's ministry is complicated, rewarding, frustrating, beautiful, and totally worth it. Peace.

Christine - posted on 01/27/2010

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We have two ladies from our church who coordinate Children's Church. It is for kids ages 3-6. Only the kids go down part way through the service and they reinforce the messages that they were learning in the Sunday school lesson that morning in addition to learning about the parts of the church service. It is meant to gear them up and prepare them to sit through the "adult/big kid" service later on and to give the parents of these kids a chance to better absorb the message/worship time w/o having to watch over an active young one. It has worked out very well and I'm glad we have such dedicated volunteers to help w/ it. There are one or two subs as well for when they aren't able to bring the kids down, so for the most part, it is every week for consistency.

Jillian - posted on 01/26/2010

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Our children's church is age 5 to 2nd grade. That seems to work best for us!

Birth to Walkers - Cradle Roll (Nursery)
Walkers to Climbers - Seperate nursery
Climbers to Three - play room Has a bible lesson, does a craft but otherwise it's a play time

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2010

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Hey Peg!
For year we went to a large church that offered both a nursery and children's church. After I had children and became involved I learned quickily that a number of parents like to drop their kids off and not worry anymore about it. Given the large number of children the church had to hire a staff to work the nursery and struggled to keep a few parents as volunteers for children's church. After leaving this church we discovered a sermon by Voddie Baucham called Child Training. In his sermon Voddie speaks adamantly about the parent's job to teach their children about the bible. Another Preacher Paul Washer also convicted us on the fact that we never really knew what our children were learning in their Sunday school classes and if we want our children to believe as we do then it is our job as parents to teach them. Now our children sit with us through each service. We have four, ages 7-2, and yes at times we have had to take them outside for a spanking, but they always come back as angels! :) This has not always been easy, but it certainly has made us better parents. Good luck! http://defendingcontending.com/2009/02/1... www.sermonaudio.com for Paul Washer

Colleen - posted on 01/21/2010

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It sounds like a tough decision, because childrens ministry takes so much time and dedication. We belong to a thriving church in PA, we have a few women who are on staff for church who organize volunteers and teachers to lead ALL ages from newborn through young adult groups. What I ahve seen work best in our church, is we ask for teachers to dedicate one month at a time, at least for younger kids for consistency, and any helpers or volunteers once a month, You will be surprised with the response you will probalby get.

Good luck and God Bless

Debra - posted on 01/21/2010

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Peg,

I was in charge of Children's Church for many year. It is a blessing to for everyone involved if you can get everyone on board and have a clear understanding of what the purpose of this ministry is. My suggestion would be (if possible) to have a short meeting with the parents of young children that would be attending Children's Church. I would suggest K (age5) thru 5th grade. One of the main purposes of this ministry is to reach the children with age appropriate lessons and activities. You will not meet those needs while trying to teach a 3 yr old and an 18 year old. I dont know how many children you have in you church but that would be a good place to begin. Once you have numbers you can then decide where to go from there. Do you want a list of parents that can volunteer, do you want people to rotate weeks? These are all questions you can figure out and then communicate to the parents exactly what they can expect. Good luck to you.

Sarah - posted on 01/20/2010

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We have nursurey for babies 6 weeks to 4 years. This is run by two volunteers from the church every week....different volunteers every Sunday. Our Children's church is done Sunday Mornings, Sun nights, and Wed nights. So there are 3 different sets of 2 teachers...one set for each night. Children 5- 12 years attend Childrens church, but have recently split up Wed. nights by age. a K-2nd grade class and a 3rd-6th grade class. Then we have youth group for 13-18 year old. It takes a lot of willing volunteers to accomplish this, but it works well for us.

Angel - posted on 01/20/2010

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Peg, I feel your concern and I can relate to much of what you are talking about. I think the idea of having children's church is a good thing, but if not structured properly it can be a more of a negative than a positive. If you have the "manpower" I believe children should be able to attend children's church as early as preschool age. Children over the age of 13 should be sitting either in regular church service or a group created just for them and that should cut off at the age of 16, in my opinion. Any age over that I believe should be joining the adults unless there are specific activities targeting the older teens with lessons created just for them.
My son is only 12 (soon to be 13) and he doesn't like going back to children's church for several reasons, therefor we have to be careful what we are subjecting them to so that it won't leave a "bitter taste" for them as they grow up.

Melissa - posted on 01/19/2010

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It seems to me that there should be a period of prayer and reorganizing. After reading many of the responses, I see the value in setting up stricter rules. I would first gather interested church members who feel they can either offer guidance to setting it up or those who can participate in seeing this ministry through. Then prayerfully formulate the guidelines, inform the church body (parents) as to the new set up. Just like how some parents think school is a place to babysit their kids all day, some parents think children's church is a place to babysit their kids during the sermon. It isn't so, and should never be considered such. Parents need to be uncomfortable enough to evaluate their own reasons for having children in there. (n my opinion, there should also be dialogue between children and their parents about what they got out of each other's services afterward.-though we can't moderate that.)

Janet - posted on 01/19/2010

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I was just saying in general yes we have all of that we have children church and youth and alduts help out. we are starting a olympians children's ministry,they will have games ,biblestudy rewards ect.We have ladies meetings and lunchen the youth have friday nights where they go to movies , go sledding bowling ,or what activity they want. We have family times like valentines day the Pastor and his wife makes dinner for the whole church and their families and we go up stairs and watch a movie. He gets a whole year planed out for every age group and planes something plus we have mission work we do too.

Sheena - posted on 01/19/2010

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My church has sunday school and WEdnesday night activities broke down by ages, but during church they have sunday school for 3 years - 3rd grades. Anyone above that age sits through church like the adults. We have two nurseries too. One for newborns through potty trained and the other from potty trained kids until 5 or 6. Then some of the kids in the older nursery can go to children's church is they like.

Marta - posted on 01/18/2010

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I think any child that is able to read and write effectively should be sitting in church taking notes and children under the age of 2 should be with their parents (they simply don't understand anything before that) and as far as the instructor goes it should be a member who has been a part of the church for a long time so that those who do need to be in service and learn from it. The Pastors' wife or the Assistant Pastors' wife could be perfect for the position since they can easily be updated, accurately, by their husbands at home. It is a calling though that the individual has to feel they have and if they don't they'll just quit after some time. I hope that helps some.

Carrie - posted on 01/18/2010

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Our church has always had Children's Church. The children come to church with their parents/families until after the children's sermon. The entire congregation sings Jesus Loves Me as the children file out for Children's Church, or the Nursery. The ages for Children's Church are 5 - 4th grade. The younger children go to nursery and the older children either stay in church or help the adult with Children's Church(limit 2 per week) There is a sign up sheet posted for the older kids to sign up and it fills up quickly as we all know some of them are just volunteering so that they do not have to sit in church. Parents are not welcome, unless they are the adult in charge for that Sunday. Best of luck getting your program started again, perhaps it is time to have some rules and regs posted and or in a journal so that all can see them.

Bev - posted on 01/18/2010

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I've been Children's Church Director for over 20 years and we have K-6th attending Children's Church. There's been times when I've thought about capping it at 5th grade because sometimes the 6th graders get bored. The younger kids seem to get more out of it and are more interested. I would definately not have kids over 6th grade.

Katrina - posted on 01/17/2010

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At our church we have age levels. We have the quiet room for nursering mommies and or people who don't believe in Nursery, Tree house, or Club house. New born to 2 are considered nusery with their own classroom. 2-3 year old are the tree house and they have their own classroom. 4-5 year olds are the club house and they have their own classroom. 1st grade to 6th grade are extrem kids and they are in the "fellowship hall" conducting children's church. All of these begin at the same time as adult church for both Sunday morning services and for Wed nite services. 7th-12th are having their own church service/sunday school during the 1st Sunday morning service and then expected to 1. go home or 2. go to adult church for the second Sunday morning service. 7th-12th have their own class during Wed. nite service and it begins at the same time as adult church. Age limits are very important.

Jossie - posted on 01/17/2010

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Our Church is very organised in this area. At the beginning of the Church Service adults and children are all in the main church together. The children are invited up to the front of the church about 10 minutes later and our Pastor sits down with them to introduce the lesson of the day. He then gives a beautiful wooden cross to one child and a lit candle on a wrought iron holder to another. The two children (everyone gets a go) then lead all the children down the church aisle and into the Children's Church area (the Church Hall across the way). Parents can go with their children for this part to settle them and then return to the main Church Service. We have a creche for children newborn to 5, run by mothers of the church on a roster system. The rest of the children are split into groups accroding to their year level at school. Group 1 = Grades 1-3 Group 2 = Grades 4-6 Group 3 = Grades 7 - confirmation age. They are then given Sunday School instruction according to their age group. This is our done by parent volunteers and our young children getting ready for confirmation, also have a go at teaching the younger children. Through children's bibles, craft activities and physical movement, they children come away feeling enriched with the word of God. Every four weeks we have a Family Church Service, where the Children's Church darlings feature during the service through a play and or bible readings and songs with the live band. This makes the children feel very grown up indeed. We have a family room at the back of the church for children who are feeling restless. Parent and child can go in there and still hear the service and see through the window. I love my Church so much, and miss it. We are currently in the UK for a short time, but my Church is St John's Lutheran Church, Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia. I hope this has given you something to work with. Let me know how it goes! God Bless

Tyra - posted on 01/16/2010

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our church has 2 classes, 1 for kids age 3-5 (under 3 go to nursery) and the 2nd class is 6-11. kids that are 12-18 are in the youth group, therefore are old enough to sit in big church. we have 4 ladies who do each class 1 sunday a month so that no 1 person misses church every sunday, they rotate and this works out for everyone. we have 1 lady (the preachers wife) who is in charge of lesson planning so that all the teacher has to do is follow the lesson plan for that sunday, she also has the craft lined out. anyone can volunteer to teach the class as long as they are responsible, men or women, even teenagers. we have 2 15 year old girls that teach in the 3-5 year old class, the kids love them, but they are very responsible girls who have done mission work and such. we have a fairly small church but are growing rappidly, we are up to 35 children each sunday, if you talk to the surrounding schools they may let you give out a flyer to special events, ours does. we have a fun day in the summer and usually something in the fall to get kids interested. i hope this helps you out!!

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WOW! 18 year olds at Childrens Church! WHY aren't they sitting in worship??? At the churches I have been members of (more than a couple due to moving) we had CC end by 4th grade. The older ones were then asked and given the responsibility to assistant the little ones (pre-school age) during CC- helping with crafts, being a lap to sit on, etc. We also have Sunday school from pre-school through high school which is separate. Our CC worked where kids sat in church and sang and participated with their parents UNTIL right before the sermon- there was a children's message, then they were asked *if they wanted to* to head downstairs to CC. That way they get a practice of worshiping God but don't have to be expected to sit still the whole while and can get age appropriate lessons downstairs. Also, parents should not be there past maybe the 1st time at the beginning of the year, with a few exceptions on a case by case basis. I have been in the church nursery, teaching SS, VBS and Bible studies for years, so I come with experience, though what works for me I realize may not be everyone's opinion. I'm sure you are praying about all this too! God bless you!

Lorie - posted on 01/16/2010

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I've worked in Children's Church and Sunday School for 24yrs. (started as a young teen), anyway, most churches cut off at the age of 12 or 13. I have found that is better if the parents do not attend with the children (hince the name Children's Church). However, if the family is new to the church, I don't see a problem with the parent staying for a week or two just to make sure that what their child is getting involved in is appropriate for them. For example, I just left a church that decided that it would be a good idea to do away with age appropriate lessons and have all the kids together in one room singing, dancing and doing skits. I had a serious problem with this because if you're not going to teach about God, the Bible, how to live a christian life what is the purpose of going to church? Once they have decided that your church service is going to be right for their child, there is no reason for them to stay. There is also no reason for 17 and 18 year olds to still be attending Children's Church unless they are being trained to serve in that area.

Debbie - posted on 01/16/2010

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Children's church is usually from ages 5-12... under that can be in nursery, older should be in the church service with their parents.

Myra Leslie Jimenez - posted on 01/16/2010

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in our case, our children's church is divided into 4 categories, pre-school (ages 3-5), primary (6-9), intermediate (10-12) and hi-school (13-16) with respective ministers scheduled before divine worship service. it's goal is primarily to help kids grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and worship God in their own special way, with action songs, etc. we also have teachers by grade level. All church members children and children from our outreach areas attend. Usually our member's children (babies and toddlers, in intermediate to hi-school) also attend regular service with their parents while some of our primary children no longer listen to the sermon though they join in the singing and offertory. Our outreach children go home after the children church.

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After doing Children's Ministry for the last 18 years in very small and very large churches, I have seen the good, the bad and the definitely "what doesn't work at all" aspects. Babies need their own nursery that is bed babies to age beginning walkers. Toddlers and 2's, 3's and 4's need their own individual classes. There is wonderful curriculum for these ages and they are very capable and interested in learning. Group makes a wonderful curriculum series for these ages. It should never be just babysitting. I have overseen churches where there were individual classes for each age and then group settings for combined ages. Based on my experience, and having 7 children of my own, I firmly believe that the age segregated classes are more conducive to learning and being able to develop one on one relationships with the kids. Larger groups are hard to manage which reduces the actual lesson time. It is also harder to minister to the individual needs and many kids fall through the cracks. Many of my "church" kids I had when they were very young and they are now in their teens and 20's. Many are in ministry and have a very strong foundation. That is because of the many adults who worked a rotation or did it full-time over the years pouring into the kids. Do not guilt people into working with kids. It is a "called ministry" and many people just don't think they can do it until they try it. Most find a real love and joy in being around these young ones. I also believe that grades 6 and above need to be in regular service. Sunday school for all ages in a church serves the teaching portion. I also respect any parents who wish to take their children into church for service. That is a family decision and yes, it works. Equipping parents to teach their children through the week is possible through take home lessons or devotionals. It is also an excellent way to reach parents who don't come to church with their kids. In any church I have ever attended or served in, we did not have parents attend Children's Church with their kids. Teens were only allowed to work a rotation based on their maturity level. It should always be considered an honor to serve Christ by serving these little ones. What they learn at these ages is the foundation that will lead them to salvation at some point. I have never felt closer in a ministry to Christ as when I am among children. His presence is overwhelming when we bring the knowledge of Him to them. We also encouraged the seniors in our churches to be involved with the kids. They have so much wisdom and love to bring into this arena of ministry and they are often so underutilized. Structure and good leadership is the key and "training" the parents in the flow of children's ministry is essential. Your pastor needs to have the vision for this and be able to convey it and support your Children's Minister. God will call the right person. :)

Janet - posted on 01/15/2010

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Our sunday school has nursary, grades 1-3 and 4-6 in another class then the teens our youth and the college kids and the 30's- 50's then the last is our oldies .

Jill - posted on 01/15/2010

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When I was growing up they had Children's church for those from ages 5 - 10. The only adults in there were the ones leading it - normally a husband/wife team & a lady that played the piano. We sang Christian children's songs & they had a sermon just for us using various techniques like a felt board with cut-out characters & sometimes puppet shows. We'd have bible memory rewards too. I remember them physically showing us the difference in the way David's men drank the water from the river & explaining why God used that as a way to pick btw them. I loved children's church & was a little sad when I had to go into big church but mainly that was because I had to sit alone. My mom was in choir & my dad didn't go most of the time. And I was the only girl in my age group so no girlfriends to sit with. I did befriend an elderly couple who ended up becoming like other grandparents to me. I sat with them almost every Sunday for years.

Gillian - posted on 01/15/2010

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we use the pebbles series also...its great takes alot of the planning out as each week is set down. I think it is followed by stones and rocks ...each book to a specific age. my husband also uses these book for prayers and ideas for sermons for children.

Anne - posted on 01/15/2010

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Hello Peggy,

I can see that you have received many responses already :) and all very useful.
When i was in London we had a rota of persons doing the sunday school. all the kids would be in one room. first; we would have a bible reading and prayers - we put chairs in semi circle. then afterwards we would have groups divided by ages. if there were s,all children up to 3/4 yrs old parents were expected to stay. we tried to have toddlers too but that proved too much as we were all in one room. if you are going to have toddlers; i think you need another room with a few toys.
It was a lovely group and the children were all very close despite the age gap (2.5 to 14!) and we were very blessed. unfortunately we found that it is always the same parents who would "volunteer" to do the sunday school; but i think it is everywhere the same. if we had problems with discipline; the deal was that we would not get angry and wuold take the kids back to their parents. Once; after a few warnings, i said ok i am sorry but... and took one of the boys by hand ( who was rightly claiming his innocence lol) and go to his parents. We hid in the toilets area for a while where i explained to him that i knew he had not started it all etc and that for this time they get any with it but i wanted the trouble makers to get the message. we had a rota and it was up to each teacher to organise for the material, photocopies etc. We used a sunday school book "Pebbles' and it was most helpful especially to newcomers like me! Kids would go back to church for communion and stay in church to the end of the service. When we had family services; the kids would be heavily involved in the service so we never really had people complaining they were too noisy and it was a great way to involve them in the life of the church :) With regard to the bigger kids you seem to have - how about involving them in the bible reading or doing craft activities with the smaller kids? i completely agree with Nicole re get the parents to help. we quickly realised that if parents want to stay they have to listen and also help. at the beginning we had to tell the parents to be quiet during the bible readings !
I must get on but would love to know how you are getting on; where are you based? you would also definitely need to do something about child protection - i think that it is actually compulsary now, in the uk anyway.
I wish you well, i so missed my sunday school in london - i live in switzerland now - they were such lovely kids age and sex mixed and truly fond of each other and caring - we all learnt a lot from each other . i am not reading myself as i really need to run and hope i'll be making sense.

Nicole - posted on 01/14/2010

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I agree that it should be for ages 5 to Jr High or 13...I have a church where it only goes from age 3 to 6 and I think that is too little but it is such a minor issue for me...But my 7 year old isn't as ready as some to sit through an adult service and depending on who is working that week sometimes I have her go back there so I don't spend the whole service correcting her behavior...So Please take into account the ages...As for the parents and other adults who insist on coming in...Make them help! I find that usually the easiest way to scare adults out of the room is to tell them to help. Those not having issue with helping could make a good rotation for the adults so the same adults aren't always working it.
As for "teens" helping...I have a 12 year old daughter who is really good with the littler kids especially the shy ones...We have a deal that as long as she is helpful AND I don't hear of any problems AND the adult doing childrens church has no issue with her then she can volunteer to help one Sunday a month just like most of the adults...It works well and I know she isn't doing it to get out of the service.

Jacqueline - posted on 01/13/2010

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In my church we have four classes for kids. They are as follows: Nursery for children ages 0-2, 3-6 year olds in a class together, JAMM, Stars, & Rangers ( depending on the day Sunday morning or Wednesday night) ages 7-12, and the Youth Group ages 13-18. We also have parents of all these children that apply to work as Volunteers in helping with the childrens ministry's. These parents work a maximum of 2 days per month. That would usually be either one Sunday and one Wednesday or 2 Sunday's or 2 Wednesday's but we try to limit all parents in the amount of time they spend in the childrens departments so that they can be filled with the word of God. Another thing that we do is that we have 1 coordinator for each group, ie: Nursery Coordinator, 3-6 Coordinator, JAMM Coordinator and a Youth Coordinator. It seems to work out quite well. Give it a try and let me know how it works.

Janet - posted on 01/13/2010

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I think it should be nursary to elementary school age kids. After that with the right up bringing they should be able to sit and listen .

Gillian - posted on 01/13/2010

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we have the children in church to hear the lessons and the Creed...I am Anglican , then they leave for Sunday School. where they learn at an age appropriate level . as for adults who are not on the team attending this is a definite no no. for many reasons but mainly a child protection issue, to have interaction with children in my church you have to be vetted by the police to ensure that you have no convictions and to have undergone training. letting anybody in to interact with the little one is not a good idea as most kids see people from church not as strangers but as friends . maybe I am a bit paranoid but I feel you cant take risks with a childs safety

Patricia - posted on 01/13/2010

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From what you described it is not a children's church but a baby sitting service. The Pastor of the Church should have a vision of what he wants to do with the children and from that vision develop the children's church.

As for newborns there's nothing to really do so most places provide Christian music. Children's church it is usually broken down to age approrate classes teaching them about Jesus. The goal of children's church is to make sure the children know the word of God and if your 14 year old isn't being taught that you shouldn't make her go. I reccommend having bible study at home with her to insure she does understand and has a foundation so that when she becomes an adult she goes to church not out of tradition but because she understands and believes in Jesus Christ.

Cheryl - posted on 01/13/2010

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It will probably depend on how many teachers/volunteers you have. We have a nursery for babies until 2ish but many of the moms keep the babies with them until they're wanting to move around and gibber gabber more. Then we have toddler church for 2s-3s with a short Bible story, coloring pages, maybe a project, snack and playtime. From 4-8 years old we have Junior Church. These kids sit in service for the music, announcements and prayer time. They are dismissed right before Pastor comes up to preach. They have a Bible Lesson, take home papers or project, snack and usually there's time for a game. We use a kit from Cook's Publishing that's a 3 year rotation of the lessons. Older than 8 is expected to stay in service but occasionally a teen will volunteer to help in Junior Church for a month as their Christian Service for the Wednesday night program.

While I know many people, even some in our church, who feel you should just train your kids to sit through church quietly and they will still learn something. I agree with Victoria, they learn and retain much more if the lesson is at their age level. We have had only positive experiences, teachers love our kids and praise and compliment their Bible knowledge.

Good luck!! One other thing we do that may take the pressure off finding someone to teach/lead is we do a monthly rotation. I order the materials and the church secretary copies each months worth of stuff- complete with project and game ideas for each lesson. We have a sign up sheet so you are only responsible for one or two months a year- whatever you sign up for. It seems to have worked good for us- this the 4th year we've been doing it this way. Many of the moms and a few Grandmotherly types sign up and the kids love it when it's their Mom's turn!!

Victoria - posted on 01/12/2010

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At our Church we have infant nursery for birth-9mnth, 9mnth-3 yrs is toddler nursery, 3-5 is Children's Church, 6-8 is Junior Church, 9-13 is Super Church, 13-18 is Youth, they used to have it during regular services, but now they have youth night on Fridays & stay with the adult body during regular services (but if you find it's a need you can always do it during regular services), we also have Young Adults on Fridays which is for unmarried Young Adults ages 18-25. We find that most young people 13 and up can handle the word that is taught and preach in regular services. If you don't have enough room to separate into different age groups you can still do it in the one room by having a different teacher for each age group, and maybe coming together for a time of praise and prayer. It's important they they are taught at their age and maturity levels, this way they will have a growing understanding and love for God and his word. Anyway I hope this helps you.

Heather - posted on 01/12/2010

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At our church Children's church is for ages 4 yrs-4th grade. There is also a nursery and a room for 2's and 3's. Everyone older then 4th grade sits in the service.

Personally I think it's great that your 14yr old wants to sit in service. I think it is good to get them in the regular service because that way they are ready to sit in Church when they are grown. Not thinking that it's boring and just for old people.

Tammy - posted on 01/12/2010

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Hi Peggy,

Our children's church for children under 13(or under middle school). Right now, because there is such a small number of children, we only have 2 sections. My class used to be 3-5 yr olds, but now I take all children under age 6 and the other class is 6-12 year olds. We feel that once they turn 13 or enter middle school, usually 7th grade, they are old enough to be in the regular service. I too feel it is important for parents to be able to concentrate on the message without distraction.

Our children's church teachers-myself and one other lady- are volunteers. We also asked for volunteers to take each of our classes one Sunday per month so that we can be in service also. It's seems like it is always hard to get people to volunteer for children's church, but if you are able to get enough volunteers they only need to do it a couple times each year.

We do have teens every now and then that try to "help" with children's church so they don't have to sit through service, but we usually discourage that.

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Just my opinion...



There should be a nursery for newborns through pre-k. Children's church should be for elementary aged kids. They can sit still and learn on their own level. Kids in middle and high school are old enough to be in church. There should definatly be age limits and rules or else there will be chaos (like the leader quitting).



Our church is small so we just offer nursery for the youngest kids. We provide color sheets and quiet activities for younger elementary aged kids that are too old for nursery. They learn to sit quietly in church but their minds are occupied with an age appropriate activitiy.

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