Going to church with young children

thTYRQOYRIIt’s Sunday. My husband is a pastor. And I stayed home from church this morning with the baby (gasp!)

Ever since our girl joined our lives 4 months ago, my church attendance is no longer 100%.  With our newborn, I’ve arrived at church early, arrived late, and I’ve missed church altogether. Please remember that as a Pastor’s wife, I’m essentially a single parent on Sunday mornings.

I really hate missing church. Especially in the summertime when people are gone to their cottages or trailers. The summer months are hard for the pastor (our church’s attendance drops by 50% in the summer. Most pastors have to work twice as hard in the summer months while congregation members disappear. I digress).

I know that I’m still fresh into motherhood but so far, going to church with a baby has been challenging. Church begins right around the time that our girl would take her first nap. Do I let her sleep and stay home? Or go to church and forgo that nap? I’ve done both. If I take her to church instead of letting her sleep, then the rest of the day is a write off. She won’t sleep at church as there are too many new sights and sounds. And then I leave church with an overtired baby who fights sleep the rest of the day.

I believe that it’s so important to go to church with young children. Not easy but important. Most congregations welcome the noise of little ones. And every time that I’ve gone to church with our baby I’ve gotten something out of it. Even if I’m in the nursery for most of the service, it is still so good to connect with the church body. Church is more than the singing and the message. It’s being part of a community,too. Even if it’s hard to get out of the door with a baby, I’ve been encouraged each time I’ve gone.

I want to be at church each Sunday. It’s good for me and I believe that ultimately, it’s also good for my baby. So I guess what I’m looking for is your tips and experiences. I am eager to learn! Can you relate? Do you have any advice? I welcome your thoughts!

3 thoughts on “Going to church with young children”

  1. Being a mom of 3 boys (10,12 & 14 years old), I have been there and can understand. As difficult as some or all Sundays were, we went off to church. Often my husband did not sit with me, as he did sound, was a teller, ushering etc. I often would think, “why do I even bother?”, I would spend my time bouncing a baby at the back to keep him from crying, or would take a toddler out because he was misbehaving. I felt like I got nothing out of the service as I was so distracted. Being a bit old-schooled (which I hate to admit!), I didn’t put the kids in nursery, we wanted them to be able to sit in church. My mom would always tell me, Sunday after Sunday, “honey, it will pay off someday, you are doing what you should do and God will bless you”. In saying all of that, it has paid off and God has blessed us with 3 young boys that love the Lord and want to be in church. Are they perfect in church?…No! But they are there and want to be!

  2. Exodus 20: 8 King James Version: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. If sometimes, you can’t attend church, you can still keep the day holy and set apart. Child(ren) will notice the difference!

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