You’re never late–even when it is daylight savings time and everyone wakes up way past when any church starts.
In other words today church will be later–probably evening. 🙂 Actually it often is since that is when my husband prefers having it.
Squirmy kids only interrupt a few people and the leader can stop church and deal with any disciplinary issues.
When fellowshipping and worshiping in a smaller group–in our case, immediate family (Matthew:18: 19-20) it is a simple thing to deal with a noisy kid and there is no embarrassment on the parent’s part because the children like to sit front and center where they can see everything so the parent has to lead the small crowd all the way back to the back of the sanctuary to remove the kid. This also includes bathroom breaks which are always more frequently needed when children are sitting in church.
The lesson can be taught in a way the the children “get it” and can be discussed at the moment instead of trying to remember all the questions later.
When we “went to church” the kids went with us and were expected to pay attention–well at least the older two, Issac spent the time rolling his cars under the pews. This meant that they would often have questions whichthey whisper during the sermon. Later, on the way home, we would ransack our brains trying to remember what their questions were. Now the kids ask immediately and the “sermon” is more a discussion of a reading as it takes place than a lecture. Not only does this benefit the children but it also benefits the adults involved–one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
The children are actively involved in the lesson.
My girls adore reading verses that have struck them during the week aloud after the main Bible reading. They also love to share what God has been doing in their lives throughout the week. Issac is not quite as interested in what is going on–last week he spent the entire time determined to read quietly from my Bible. He read two paragraphs of the chapter we were reading–Mark 7.
We can focus on a verse or section as long as we need to.
God has been speaking to us through Mark 7 for two weeks now. Shamus and I are also reading through Romans together on the side and God has lined up our readings brilliantly and is teaching us much. Our church time is also much shorter than traditional church. We don’t need to spend an hour on a subject unless the conversation goes on that long. Often the main conversation is short and then extends into later conversations throughout the week.
The kids are with us and no one is pointing out that there are all kinds of “Children’s Ministries”.
Some time ago the Lord started convicting us that our children needed to be learning beside us instead of in a separate classroom. Some children benefit from “children’s church” and all that entails but not my kids and God made it very clear. When we went to the more crowded services, kids in tow, many well meaning adults would gently let us know that the church had a wonderful “children’s program”. When we began attending the smaller, earlier service the mostly elderly adults loved to pull us aside and bless us for bringing our little ones so they too could be fed. I agreed with them and was delighted to know others felt that way. I know that “Children’s ministries” are necessary for some but don’t tell me that you have a family friendly church and then separate my family at every possibly moment. Child friendly? Yes, family friendly? No. Family friendly to me means beneficial to the family as a family unit. There are no scriptures that I can think of that refer to children being taught separately from their parents but there are several that refer to women and children being present while the teaching was going on– Ezra 10 is one of my favorite examples but when Jesus taught the women and children also gathered to listen (for example see Matthew 14:13-18.)
Homechurching and homeschooling give us ample opportunity to focus on what each child specifically needs to learn. It also allows us to live what we teach and teach what we live. Our goal is not to train our children in the way WE THINK they should go but in the way God designed them to go. We are giving them the tools they need and making sure we teach them His truths at every step of the way. We are also able to remove separate the traditions of men from the truth of scripture so they can stay focused on Him. The Lord has reminding us of this over the last few weeks as we study Mark 7 and Romans 1-5.
As I said before–homechurch isn’t for everyone and God has definitely called us specifically to homechurch for this time. It has been a real blessing and the above listed are just a few of the ways.