Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

A Word To The Parents

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 18 April 2010

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I would like to add a few more words of advice to the parents concerning the supervision of children in the main worship service. I would like to once again affirm that at Gethsemane B-P Church, we are eager to have our young children to join the worship service together with all the rest. We are happy to see our children’s participation in the worship from an early age.

In many churches today, bringing children into the full hour of congregational worship is postponed as long as possible. But this is not a healthy practice. In our church, we encourage young children to be in the sanctuary from the beginning of worship. While toddlers are encouraged to be seated with their parents, upper kindergarten and lower primary students are encouraged to sit together at the front of the sanctuary.

Concerning infants and toddlers, I would like to advise the parents that they take great care not to allow the children’s talking or crying to disrupt the worship. If it is necessary, please bring them out of the sanctuary, pacify them and bring them back to join the worship. You may be concerned that at what point should you take your child out of the sanctuary. Here are some suggested guidelines:


  • If your infant is obviously stressed in the worship service and cannot be consoled within a few seconds, you probably need to either step out temporarily or move to the cry room.
  • If your infant or toddler is repetitively distracting to those around you, you should move to the cry room.
  • If an usher speaks to you about moving to the cry room, thank him for his help and remove your child from the sanctuary immediately.
  • See to it that all your children go to the toilet before the service begins, and (except in unusual cases) tell them that they will not be allowed to leave during the service.
  • Talk to your children at home about your expectations in worship.
  • Comment and reward your children for good behaviour in worship.
  • Do not allow your toddler's "misbehaviour" to keep you permanently from the church worship service. If a three- or four-year-old is misbehaving, you can take him outside for an "attitude adjustment" and then re-enter the sanctuary quietly. Repeat this procedure until he, not you, relents! You may also want to penalize him for misbehaving in the service.
  • If a guest is struggling with his/her toddlers or infants near you in the worship service, you might want to offer help.

Let us not hesitate to teach our children how to behave in the worship of God. If we care to teach our children how to walk, talk, feed themselves, tie their shoes, etc., we should also be eager to inculcate in them proper behaviour during the worship of our great God.