Sunday, September 1, 2013

How to stop church distractions

If you asked {most} of my little Sunday School kids what they DON'T come to church to be, they will answer loudly, "A DISTRACTION!"

Each time we end our Sunday School time and prepare to go to the Church service we have "the talk". Jamaican children, as a whole, are very respectful of teachers and elders.  I single-handedly manage a group of around 25 kids ranging from ages 1-14 with no problem.  We understand each other.

Teacher sings silly songs...we laugh.
Teacher dramatically acts out the Bible lessons....we laugh and respond.
Kids aren't going to be little robots marching into their pews and sitting meticulously still for 60 minutes.  I understand that and our Sunday School time is fun and educational.

But when it comes time to go into the Worship Service we quiet down.  And have "the talk".  I tell them I'm so happy they are in church today and hope they remember the things they learn.
I say to them....
1. Now is the time to go to the bathroom!  Nothing erks me more than children getting up to go to the bathroom during church!  They can go all night!  When our church kids stand up to go to the bathroom I try to beat them to the door, turn them around and make them return to their seat.  Generally they look to me first for permission and a simple shake of my head makes them stay in their seat.  Or I give them a hard look and they suddenly don't have to go anymore.  It's not mean, it's teaching them how to be a proper adult.
2. No talking in church.  Absolutely no talking in church.
3. When the adults are standing....you stand.
4. When the adults are singing.... you sing.
5. When the adults are praying... you bow your head, close your eyes and listen.

These rules work great for the kids but here are some thoughts for helping us as adults not be a "distraction."
1. Get to your seat early
2. Actually sing the songs
3. No bathroom breaks....every eye looks when someone stands up.
4. Look forward in the services not beside you, down on the floor, or {gasp} behind you.
5. Don't allow snacks.  It is very distracting to children who think they're hungry.  It is very distracting to adults when you rattle the plastic. It is disrespectful when you leave a pile of fruit loops under your chair.  Tip:  Kids will listen better if you offer them candy for answering questions about the sermon after church!
6. Take time to be HOLY.  Church is not a social club.  Remember the reason you're there.  Why are you there?

Expect more and they will live up to your expectations.

6 comments:

Jenna said...

Very helpful. Thank yOU!

Carole said...

Great Post!

Luba said...

What a great topic. Thank you! Kids listening well is such a great testimony in any church. :)

Kami Gimenez said...

This is great Maria!!

Rachel said...

Great thoughts and suggestions! So important to teach them these important rules now.

(I know some adults that are more distracting in church than kids - especially now days with cell phones that no one can go more than a minute without.)

Angela ~ Call Her Blessed said...

Good post. Will be sharing this info.

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