What does your church do with your children during services?

Anne - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 18 moms have responded )

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Currently our church does not have a strong children's program. The desire is there but no real direction. How important is it to your decision to join a church?? What if there is no nursery, no real organized manner of teaching the children outside the bible study prior to service. Like, no volunteer work, gatherings, the nursery is for nb - 3rd graders and they go and play - there is no Godly lesson and bible study doesn't start until 3 -4 yo.



What kinds of church programs do your churches have? What are the positive, negatives, your thoughts, ideas.I look forward to everyone's ideas on what a good nursery consists of and how do you get folks to put their kids in the nursery? What does your church do with their children??



Thanks everyone!!

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Cara - posted on 05/06/2010

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We have been in churches with huge children's programs, and ones with hardly any. My girls tend to prefer the one with none, especially my older daughter. She is now 13 and has always complained of feeling 'pressured' to enjoy the kids stuff, which in her opinion is too watered down. In her words 'the Bible is not that complicated. IF we are to come to Jesus as a child, then why send the children out of the service?"
I am glad for those of you who are experiencing great kid's programs! We just haven't found any that worked for us.

Judy - posted on 12/01/2012

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We chose our church because of the children's programs. We had been going to a church that didn't offer anything until 1st grade then it was in one big group 1st through 8th and learned how to pray but that's it. We loved the pastor's message but left. Now we go to a more "conservative" church. Our children ages are 17 to 4. We have Sunday school for all ages from nursery to adults. during church nursery runs the entire time for birth - 2, there is toddler and children's church for 2-4 years and kindergarten - 7th grade that starts after worship time. Sunday school for kids is going through the Bible with memory verses and learning the books of the Bible. Adults are doing an Old Testament survey. In children's church the elders teach the kids whatever the pastor is speaking on. They do this so that during the week, families can talk about what they learned. Our pastor takes a book and works his way through it... right now we are studying Romans. We also have Young Kids group for the 4th -6th graders and youth group for the teens that meet twice a month. One time is a service project and one is Bible study. We also send them to a teen rally every other year. My kids feel connected to their church family.

Amanda - posted on 04/02/2010

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OK, just went over this after typing it and realized it very long. I'm excited about my church!!

We have an amazing children/youth ministry. We have a nursery for children 0-3yrs where they play, have a story, prayer, and snack and are well loved by the volunteer staff. We've recently had a baby boom and have been having to consider dividing the ages more and working in a second nursery! Then for ages 3-5, there is "Little Shiners" and for grades 1-6, there is "God's Awesome Kids" (GAK). In these two programs, the kids learn about God and receive a solid foundation from dedicated "children's church" staff complete with music, offering, skits or puppet shows, games, and a sermon from the children's pastor. Both programs have a full curriculum they follow for the teachings. For the teens there's "Code Blue" (based on the medical emergency code for critical condition/still a chance to be saved). Again, the whole service is geared toward teens and their interests; a social time, music, offering, a sermon from the youth pastor. All age groups except high school meet Sunday mornings; the middle school teens meet Sunday mornings for lessons, but the high school teens are in "big church" with the adults. Wednesday nights are all about the youth. All children's/youth ministries meet Weds nights (no adult services) and it is amazing how many kids from the community come for services because they feel the love for kids and the love of God! Each group even has a dedicated area (Shiners and GAK actually have their own buildings, one of the many blessings God has provided for us!) decorated and set up all for them and dedicated staff trained to work especially with them.

Our senior pastor has really had a heart for children and has been able to share his vision and create excitement in our congregation so that many of our members volunteer weekly (on a rotational basis) so that the burden of making the children's ministry happen doesn't fall on just a few. The staff have been able to attend conferences at Pastor Willie George's Church on the Move in Tulsa. Many of our programs were originally modeled after their youth programs, and have evolved to fit the needs of our congregation and community. God is really doing amazing things with our youth!

Oh, as for how we get parents to put their kids in the programs: its rarely a problem! The kids hear about the services just for them and can't wait to go! Families new to the congregation may have their children in for one service or two, until they or the children are more comfortable. Most parents are grateful for the nursery and the time to be refreshed in Christ and use the nursery (guilt-free) full time once baby is a few weeks old. We need it! None of the programs are required, of course, although if Pastor has a more serious subject, he will ask that any babies or restless children be taken to a program so the congregation can focus fully. We also have a Family Sunday once a month where everyone, except nursery, is in "Big Church". The GAK, CodeBlue, and adult service praise bands/teams each play a set of songs geared to their age group, which is fun. The children's, youth, or senior pastor then gives a message. We really have wonderful programs & ministries, all thanks to God's blessings!

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Kathrine Angelic - posted on 11/26/2012

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this post is such an inspiration, i now know i can go to church and not worry about my children not being allowed in.

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I love my church's youth program. The first hour of church is for families to be together. The next two hours kids from 18 mo-18 years have individual classes with peers their own age. For the smaller ones, it's mostly playing with toys, a short lesson, and music time. There's more lesson squeezed in the older they get. :O) I teach the 18 mo-3 year olds.

Kristina - posted on 04/08/2010

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Our church has a very active Children's ministry. Just about 5 yrs ago, we added a children's ministry director. Someone to specifically deal with the curriculum and worships ideas for the nursery-5th grade. I love the curriculum and the volunteers. I have a 4 yr old that will come home and tell stories he learned. At one point he even asked my husband, "Daddy, did you remember?" My husband asked him "Remember what?" My son responds, "That God made you special." The stories that have come from the curriculum is done in such a way (and with such great care and love from the volunteers) that he honestly GETS IT. Even at 4.

When we looked for a church we looked for one that had a good children's program from nursery age up to high school. We wanted to make sure that our kids felt plugged into the church not just now as little ones, but as they get older. We have 7 yrs difference in our first and second child. So while we have one in pre-K, we also have a middle shcool child. So feeling connected through out the ages was important to us.

Heather - posted on 04/07/2010

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This is the perfect question for me...my husband and I are Children's Pastors. Ckhurch and we mix the ages together. Depending on his lesson that day/#kids he will bring it too their level or go in between. CM is very important, how can you expect to grow and some of my moms/dads this is their time to get refreshed, renewed spirit, their out. It was mine. If the leadership is not there and this is concern for you,it could be God calling you to step up to the plate. When it comes to the nursery if a mom would like to put their child there, we have a lady that loves that or you can keep them with you. Our pastor knows babies cry facts of life. We have a program called Sunlight Kids and it is awesome www.goselpublisinghouse.org. It has lessons/music/activies perfect for the 4 and younger.

Anne - posted on 04/06/2010

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This is the same challenge with our church, we are very small and finding those to volunteer and be dependable is an issue.So we struggle to have Sunday School. But we are trying.

Traci - posted on 04/02/2010

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Our church has a fabulous children's ministry newborn to high school age polished Jems for the young ladies and flaming arrows for the young men, We have AWANA and the youth pastors love to act out the stories and have the children help. Which makes the lesson stick . It was a big factor when choosing our home church. We all praise together and have our offering then the children are off to have more praise and worship then a message suited for their age but it parallels what the message is in our service. We are truly blessed to come into a well organized childrens ministry .

Elizabeth - posted on 04/01/2010

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My church is very small, only about 20 people, with 3 young kids. We have a daycare till before holy communion then we bring them up till the end and we have Sunday school after "dinner" (our service is at 5pm). Sunday school consists of my daughter -5, another girl-5 and her brother -2. We have one teenager, also. She is our acolyte.

Victoria - posted on 04/01/2010

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We generally keep all the kids in the worship service, although if some of the nursery age kids are disterubing the service the volunteer worker will go out to the nursery with them at any point the parent wants to send them out to the nursery.



We have an infant nursery ministry (0-9mnths), The volunteers play bible based childrens songs and we have infant bible toys like Noah's Ark etc. However with the kids being so young it is kinda more of a babysitting service, the worker will change the kids and give them bottles or baby food and snacks provided by the parents.



We have toddler nursery ministry(9Mnths-3yrs). The volunteers have curriculum and movies and music and arts and crafts all bible based and then also some toys and such, the workers are also there to change diapers and give snacks provided by the parents.



Moving into Sunday school (also taught on midweek bible study) we currently have 3 classes currently, all are taught by Pastoral Ministry staff, not regular congregational members as with the nursery.



We have Childrens Church (4-6).

We have Kings Kids (7-9)

Junior Church (10-12)



However the age range isn't restrictive as we go by each child's maturity in the word and in Christ.



All the stuff taught in the class room is bible based, some is from curriculum some is taught as a message or sermon as would be taught in the main body, only with the focus on the age group it is being taught to. we don't limit the Holy Spirit by sticking only to a curriculum we allow the Holy spirit to always lead whether in teaching and preaching and worship in the main service or in the kids class rooms.



We also have Youth group (13-18) and Young Adults (19-25) both taught by the Pastoral Ministry staff.

Kathy - posted on 04/01/2010

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I thank GOD I found a well rounded church that has individualized services from Newborn up til your 90's. All together services start at 9:30 for kids(bible studies, they do skits for teaching, games, story time, you name it ...anything that would make it fun to learn about God's word) During that time I enjoy the Sermon. Once my service is over I then go to my bible study and the kids ....Yes they get a kid oriented service(Kidzmo, another activity they follow is Johnny Roberts for what I could remember where they get the bible verse for the week) until my bible study is over. Its great because my 8 yr old now actually competes with me on the verse he learn for that day and test me if I know what it means....lol.. On Wednesday is the same deal... everyone gets fellowship from 6:30 til 8pm the kids participate in a program called AWANA (NB til 5th grade) and the older ones have another program they engaged in up til college age students. And the Adults engaged in the appropriate class they want to participate (Men, Women, Single Moms, Seniors, Young Adults, Marriage, Latino, Crafters, etc..)
I suggest to you to go to your Pastor and express your concern, YOU take the initiative and create your signup group to form some type of children's only fellowship. Look at the AWANA website(google it) and it actually helps you form this Christian program at your Church and look at Kidzmo(google it) and as well give you a whole curriculum. If not many Adults sign up try your High School'ers that want to help. May God give you the encouragement to find what you are looking for and GOD BLESS you.

Mia - posted on 03/31/2010

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Hebrew 10:25 states not to forsake the gathering. I think church is important because if you find sincere people you can pray one for the other. Before I became a youth teacher, my children didn't have a class to go to because ever other age group had teacher. So I got tired of watching the disappointment on their faces and I volunteered. There was no work plan because that age group was not in the plan, but I prayed about it and took off with it. What frustrates me now is that the 5-7 age group color and watch movies every Sunday. Children learn best through interaction and I do not think film and coloring will get the lesson to stick. On the other hand, we are looking into changing that.

Lisa - posted on 03/31/2010

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I believe that the programs that a church has for children is vital and extremely important when trying to raise your children to believe and trust in God. My church is little and it has it's share of issues at the moment. We do have a nursery and Sunday School classes for kids which have been a real blessing for my 5 year old. It is difficult to find volunteers who will step up and help with extra programs such as VBS but in the end we pull together and get the job done. I would definitely make sure that whatever church you choose has at least some sort of a program for kids that allows them to hear Bible stories and ask questions as they grow in the faith.

Breeanne - posted on 03/30/2010

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My church has the best children's prgram I've ever seen! there is somthing for everthing from babies to high school kids. every sun and wed. except the high school kids r in church w us 3 sun a month and every wed is youth night. It is awsome to see 30 teenagers on thier knees worshiping the Lord!

Mia - posted on 03/29/2010

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My church has a youth church on 2nd and 4th Sundays so the youth teachers can have church. Our lessons are more structured by a book purchased at a Christian Bookstore according to age. We divide our groups as so: 1-4, 5-7, 8-12, and 13-18. Then on Wednesday night for bible study there is also a class for the youth. The way that we keep things organized and flowing with youth events is by organizing a youth council. This council consists of 6 people that are consistantly committed to the youth. However, we branch out to the youth volunteers. We also include a teenager on the council to have a child's perspective.

Alexis - posted on 03/29/2010

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Honestly I have left a church because I didn't feel that my children felt important because there were so few opportunities for them. I found a wonderful church that has a nursery available for Sunday school and service and a program for K-5th grade for children during service and it is the best. I am able to receive the message the Lord has for me without being distracted by the younger children and they receive the message the way it was meant for them through songs and games.

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