Some Challenges to Taking Your Kids to Big Church

Yesterday I shared the reasons why Nate and I have always tried to take our girls to big church with us.  I could tell you it is all roses and easy and our girls usually have a halo floating over their heads.  Not so much.  Last time, Brenna decided she was a puppy in the middle of the sermon, including crawling around on the floor in front of the pew and pretending to lick her arm.

Here are some of the biggest reasons we could come up with not to take your little people to church.

1.  They distract me from worship.  They wiggle.  They whisper.  They have 100 questions or observations.  How can I have my personal time with God when my little people are right there and I have to be the Mama.  We all need a break, and yes, we all need some personal time with Jesus.  However, when I became a parent it stopped being about me.  More pressing than my need for “me and Jesus time” is my need to invest in my children and show them what corporate worship is all about.  In some ways it is a sacrifice on my part, but I believe it is an investment in the long term.

2.  They can’t sit through the whole service.  This may not be true of your kids, but I know with mine, they don’t have alot of environments where they have to sit still and be mostly quiet for a lengthy amount of time.  How are they going to learn how if they never have to?  Sitting quietly is a life skill.  Have we had to leave the service?  Absolutely.  Did I miss part of the sermon.  Yep.  And I thank God for the online downloads.

3.  They don’t get anything out of it.  I referred to this yesterday, but more often than not my kids reveal that they are absorbing more than I thought.  I do not expect that they can repeat all 5 points of the sermon.  But they can tell me something.  And that is a win.

4.  They will hear things they are not ready for.  That is a whole other blog post… in fact, let’s cover that tomorrow.

5.  It is hard.  Yes.  And some weeks it is honestly better for everyone to not even try.  And that is ok.  But Jesus talks alot about how the good things are hard.  I don’t want to default to what is easy over what I feel is best for my kiddos.

6.  They might distract others.  We don’t sit too close to alot of people who don’t love us and our kids.  🙂  My kids can be distracting even at their quietest.  But I would rather them learn now to respect others while they are cute enough to be quickly forgiven, than when they are an obnoxious teenager or an adult.  And lots of times I just have to be the mean mama that says “shh”, “stop”, “quit touching her”.

Let me reiterate again that I do not feel that this is something every family and every kid should do.  God made you the parents in your house. You know your family and your context.  But let me challenge you to think long term.  Let me challenge you to think beyond inconvenience.


  • My biggest concern would be the distraction to others sitting near us or to the pastor. I am a pastor and have three young children and when my children start acting up I get distracted easily from the sermon. Also, I do beleive around the age of four is the time children should start sitting out in big church with their parents

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