Be warned, this post may offend some people that I love, but this is my blog, and I need to get this off my chest. And I need some advice, so I’m hoping that y’all will chime in with some words of wisdom for me.
My issue is with my kids and church. I love our church. Please, don’t anyone think otherwise. If it hadn’t been for our church, I wouldn’t have gotten saved or committed my life to serving Christ. I know that. And I love the members of our church. Of all the churches I have attended, I have never met so many people that truly care about the other members. The way they band together in times of trouble is amazing. And our church is the most praying church I have ever seen. When someone says that they are praying for you, you know that it’s true. I love our church. I am blessed to be a part of it.
That being said, here’s where I’m struggling: Our church doesn’t really have any children’s ministries. They never have. The members don’t want it.
After we moved here in September of ’07, the Pastor and I talked at length about starting a nursery during the morning worship service. They had tried in the past, but no one would help staff it, so they gave up. The preacher warned me that I would be doing it alone, and the members probably wouldn’t like it.
He was right. I have done it alone and faithfully since then, missing only times when we were out of town, there was a special service, one of the kids were sick, or when Parker was born and had to be kept home for 30 days. Other than that, I have been faithfully teaching the children that come to my class. Which, right now, are my children (Jace, Lucy, and Parker), and one other child – who is just like another child of mine. The other members of the church will not bring their children down to me, and it’s hard not to be offended. But, I’m not giving up. I will still teach the Word on a level that the children will understand. We sing songs, play games, have a Bible lesson, an art project, and we learn a Bible verse. Every week. Granted, most weeks, *I’m* the one learning something, but I love teaching these kids, and I know that this is what God wants me to do.
My problem really lies in the Sunday Night and Wednesday Night services. (Yes, we’re in church all the time. If the doors are open, we are there.) You would think that because we are at church all.the.time that my children would know how to sit and listen. But, no. It seems that every week, I am getting up and walking out of the service. And what is that teaching my kids? Hey, if I scream loud enough, Mom will take me to the nursery.
I need fed. *I* need to hear the word of God, and I need to feel the Spirit just like every other member of our church gets to. But I just can’t do it with my kids. I don’t know how to make them behave. Parker is just a baby. He cannot be expected to sit and behave the way I expect Zander to behave. I understand that.
We need a nursery for every service. But we need more willing ladies in our church who see the importance of a Children’s Ministry. I can’t do it all on my own. If I am constantly giving, and not being fed myself, I will burn out. I won’t be of any use to the children, or to anyone for that matter. I would gladly start a nursery on Sunday nights if I knew that I could write up a schedule and have that schedule followed. But, the women of our church don’t want to staff a nursery. And I just don’t get it.
Now, I will say that there is one lady to whom this post does not apply. She has taught Sunday school for years, takes care of the nursery on Wednesday nights during the school year, and has helped me out many times. She has held Parker, screaming at the top of his lungs, so that I could go to Sunday School or teach my Wednesday Night Class. She knows who she is, and she’d better know how much I love and appreciate her.
But, what can I do? I get so embarrassed when my kids start acting up in church. Sure, the members say that they didn’t even notice, but I know they have to. I notice when other peoples’ kids act up. (And I secretly thank God for not letting my kids be the only noisy kids in church!)
In all honesty, I am terrified that I’m going to go to heaven and God is going to say, “Angie, I want you to know that because you couldn’t control your children, this person got offended and never came back to church. Because of you, they never accepted me as their Savior and they are spending eternity in Hell.” Now, will that happen? I don’t know, but I certainly don’t want to find out. I don’t want to be the woman whose child hindered someone from hearing the Word of God.
What are your thoughts on this? Are you in a small church with no children’s ministry? How do you handle it? Will I survive my stage? Will my kids survive this stage? I would love any tips or suggestions you all may have. Giving up is not an option, though, so don’t suggest that we wait until they’re older. It’s not gonna happen.