Monday, August 29, 2011

Finding a Church Is Harder Than I Thought

For a while now, off and on at least, we (my family) have been searching for a church to attend. This has proven to be a much harder task than I thought It would be.

What has made it so hard for us to find a church you ask?

Well, We have small children. Which is funny because my kids are the main reason my wife and I have been trying to find a church. We want them to be involved in a church community.

The problem is that we desire a community, and not an institution. I wrote a while back about how I don't miss church, or at least church as I have known it. We like the small, community focused congregations that like to have discussions about the text, who can disagree about the text and not immediately want to excommunicate those they don't see eye to eye with, who are inclusive rather than exclusive,who care about social justice, and who are active within the community. But usually small churches do not have any kind of children's programs or they just do not have children at all.

We have been to several churches that we really like, but there hasn't been much for our children.

This seems to be the two choices out there... (1) Traditional/huge churches with either a pre sermon rock show or post sermon "alter call" that's always the same... but they have great programs for children... or (2) small, conversational, missional churches that we like very much but have nothing for our kids.

And let me just say that I am not criticizing these small churches that don't have children programs nor am I meaning to criticize big and traditional churches in any way. They all serve their purpose in one way or another i am sure that each is full of wonderful people. It's just important to us right now that our children are involved in some way.

So, Our search continues.

6 comments:

aPearantly sew said...

No one in the children's ministry at our "huge/traditional" church has ever told my 2 or 4 year old that they are going to hell if they don't say the sinners prayer. I don't think that starts until much later, so you'd be safe from such heresy at least for a little while.
You might have also included that you weren't meaning to bash all big churches who play "rock" music...or maybe you were?

Jkub said...

You're right. Consider it Changed, corrected, and clarified.

ben wall said...

Do you think churches ought to be cultivating and providing homogeneous children and youth programs in which the children and youth are separated from a larger portion of the fellowship?

Jkub said...

Ben,

Good question. Actually no I don't. I have hear of churches where the kids are part of the service no matter their age, I've just never really experienced it. I like the idea of kids being in the "service", but i think the service would have to be some how intentionally constructed to work that way. From all my experiences taking my kids into the service it just ends up being us trying to keep our kids quiet and still.
So, having not given much thought on how to make it a reality, i would like to see kids and adults together(not saying there shouldn't be anything different for youth or children) and I know there are churches tlwhere this works, but I haven't experienced one yet where I feel like my childEn Are "welcomed" in the service.
Again, I think the service would have to be much different than the types of churches i grew up, I was, and am, very thankful that I had "youth group" somewhere else besides the boring services. And so that's my concern now, even if the kids are in the service, what r they getting out of it besides being bored and us constantly trying to keep them still.
I'm in a phone donuts hard for me to fully explain my feelings towards this, but if you have had a different experience where kids were welcomed and encouraged to be in the service, the what was it like and what was done differently?

MATTHEW BOYD said...

I am sure there is another country out there besides the US that separate the children from the larger fellowship, but not that I am aware of. In fact in all of my international travel, I have always experienced children from baby on up mixed in with the entire body. In fact my wife struggled with the idea of nursery when moving here and was very hesitant to put our own son in nursery, but we decided to do so because of the distraction our son would be to the rest of the body as we would be the only ones with a six month old on our laps. We do keep Elliot with us during our small group as do other parents with their children because we want to have the whole body together during that time. The Summit even reimburses for childcare, but we see the advantage of having our children in our times together that resemble house church. Whatever happened to the Baptist church plant you were helping with?

MATTHEW BOYD said...

Also thought you might find this video clip interesting on "Children in Your Missional Community." http://youtu.be/tCvwR5d6RGg