In our church, the children stay in the main service, and then are dismissed for the preaching. I like this approach very much, but it is a challenge keeping them focused on what’s going on.
David’s always been able to sit still, but he’s just this year started singing. Since we’ve started school, he’s been more interested in the hymn book (if it’s a low number). We have practiced several times at home, and I think that’s been helpful. I’m eager for when he’ll actually be able to start reading. I think I can tap into his interest in reading as he learns how to worship God.
But he’s still not saved and cannot truly worship. He’s trying very hard to be a good boy. He wants our approval, and is very happy when he is praised for good behavior.
I noticed yesterday that Bethel (turning four in December) is doing much better at sitting still during the service, although she still struggles with wiggles. She doesn’t sing at all, and she doesn’t understand much of what is going on. She just expressed a desire to go to children’s church instead of the nursery, so we’ll see how she does. Until recently, she struggled more than Laurel to sit still, so I’m encouraged to see her doing better. I’ve noticed that she also responds well to a smile and encouragement.
Laurel still is the biggest challenge. If I hold her, she rarely is still enough for me to think about what is going on in the service. She sometimes sings, is relatively quiet most of the time (but not always, and she still can be very distracting when she’s not quiet), and occasionally will let me help her follow music or reading. (David never would do this, so it is something new for me.)
All in all, they’re doing well. The biggest challenge right now is teaching them that our good efforts don’t make us right with God. That’s hard when we’re also teaching them that it pleases God when they obey and share. I still wrestle with this. I still see their efforts as an important development in their understanding of sin and salvation. Sooner or later, they’re going to understand they can’t win that battle.
I’ve enjoyed thinking about objectionable elements, but it’s taken focus, and so other things have not had as much attention. I got back on track over the weekend, but the laundry still needs attention. I really would like to spend a lot of time in the Bible, too. God is working in some areas that I’ll share on Wednesday.