What age?

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Pilkington

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2015
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#1
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
 

Roughsoul1991

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2016
3,059
608
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#2
Probably when they out grow the children's area. Most churches have sunday school service for kids. Each class has different age groups. So probably When they outgrow these age groups. The whole idea is the child gets different levels of education at different ages. Just as Paul says we start out on infant milk and eventually should consume the whole milk of the Bible. Well children should start small according to there age and as they grow the older classes should teach more in depth knowledge of the Bible. Until the children reach a mature enough stage to understand and sit through the adult service.
 

88

Senior Member
Nov 14, 2016
3,517
73
48
#3
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
***whenever it doesn't bore them to death---kids usually need things on their level to grow...
 

Dan58

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2013
1,970
301
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#4
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
When they can do so without disturbing the entire congregation :)
 

Miri

The Thingy Member
Jul 22, 2012
9,250
2,242
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UK age 51
#5
In a previous church we had Sunday school from age 4 right up to the age of about 13. (It was
only a small congregation of around 30-40 adults but a rota was set up for the youth work
for those who were interested).

In my current church much larger, they have age appropriate activities and Sunday school from
toddler age right up to about 16/17/18 (we have Sunday youth services the youth have
their own pastor and worship team. They get to decide at what age they feel like joining
the main service and have outgrown the youth service). There is a sort of large play
pen at the back of the auditorium for babies, parents can sit next to it and supervise their
babies while still listening to the service. We also have mum and tots room if anyone needs to
go out, which has a screen and audio of the service.


I suppose a bigger question is why do churches expect older children to sit still and listen to
a sermon which is too grown up for them, or expect young children to just sit still full stop.
If a church doesn't have some sort of Sunday activity for children it's going to put off
families from attending.

They shouldn't be expected to take part in a service they don't understand. Boring church
can put children off God.
 
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
408
0
#6
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
Just the way you worded it kind of shows that your children may be destined to never really develop any true desire for such an ordeal.
 

notmyown

Senior Member
May 26, 2016
3,430
258
0
#7
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
hi, Pilkington :)

we kept our kids with us in the service from the time they were babies. our church encouraged families to worship together, thank God. we had coloring books and such for them when they were toddlers, but they quickly learned to be quiet and not distract others. they learned to pay attention as they grew older.

i think most kids can do the same, providing the parent(s) are willing, and the other people in the building gracious as our church family was.

ps-- our third born was so accustomed to being in the service, when she was less than a year old her favorite lullaby was "The Church's One Foundation", a hymn we sang in church. ;)
 
Dec 19, 2009
27,513
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#8
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
I’ve never had any kids, so I can’t claim to be an expert. I’d like to make two points, though:

1. If you try to force too much religion on a child, they likely will rebel when they become adults, and have nothing to do with it.

2. I am thankful for the things I was taught in Sunday school as a child.

 

Pilkington

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2015
640
72
28
#9
Just the way you worded it kind of shows that your children may be destined to never really develop any true desire for such an ordeal.
Ok may be it shows my issues more than my son's in the way I worded things.

Basically we have two Sunday services one at 9.30 the other at 11.15, with coffee for both services from 10.30 till 11.15. Originally we had one Sunday morning service but as numbers grew the church building became two small so we started to have two services.

As a family we prayerfully considered which service to attend and we felt lead to join the 9.30 congregation. This was when my husbands health was better, he also used to play in the worship group before his health deteriated, unexpectedly. He know struggles to get to the 9.30 service. Also as our son has got older it is harder to crow bar him out of bed, not an issue when he was little.

Oh I go to Church, for a number of reasons including the desire to worship God with His people, for fellowship, to here preaching and to be actively involved in Church life. The service is relatively family friendly with a weekly kids talk each week. Most Sunday's the children go out to kids club which is geered for 4 to 11's. As it is a single class the teachers are struggling with the breadth of the age group. It would be difficult to divide the group as the congregation is small, and to take out additional teachers would be impractical. Sometimes I find the service a bit of a test of endurance.

It was suggested last Sunday that certain kids would be asked if they wanted to stay in the Service and provide material so they could follow the sermon. My son is 9, and when asked he said he would be happy to stay in the service however I wonder how much he would get from the service. Oh and yes my son does enjoy going to Church and youth group. I am kind of sad that he will not benefit from the potential teaching he would have received at Sunday school. When we just had a single service the Sunday school was amazing.
 

Pilkington

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2015
640
72
28
#10
In a previous church we had Sunday school from age 4 right up to the age of about 13. (It was
only a small congregation of around 30-40 adults but a rota was set up for the youth work
for those who were interested).

In my current church much larger, they have age appropriate activities and Sunday school from
toddler age right up to about 16/17/18 (we have Sunday youth services the youth have
their own pastor and worship team. They get to decide at what age they feel like joining
the main service and have outgrown the youth service). There is a sort of large play
pen at the back of the auditorium for babies, parents can sit next to it and supervise their
babies while still listening to the service. We also have mum and tots room if anyone needs to
go out, which has a screen and audio of the service.


I suppose a bigger question is why do churches expect older children to sit still and listen to
a sermon which is too grown up for them, or expect young children to just sit still full stop.
If a church doesn't have some sort of Sunday activity for children it's going to put off
families from attending.

They shouldn't be expected to take part in a service they don't understand. Boring church
can put children off God.
Your Church sounds like it has great provision for the children and teenagers. I think it is very hard for Churches to find the right balance. One of the big difficulties is how to encourage children and teenagers to make a decision to follow Christ. (yes I know that you can't force anyone to believe). However children and teenagers need to see how our faith effects the way we live and they need to her the gospel.

Also how do we get young people to become part of the church actively engaged and involved, they get to a certain age and there is no more Sunday school and you kind of hope when they leave home they will still want to be part of the Church. I find it telling 50% of University students who were professing Christians actively involved in the Christian Union are no longer professing Christians 10 years after leaving Uni.
 

Pilkington

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2015
640
72
28
#11
Dan58, my son who is 9 could sit through the service without disturbing the congregation but would he get anything from the service.
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#12
Dan58, my son who is 9 could sit through the service without disturbing the congregation but would he get anything from the service.
He'd get nothing out if it, if he didn't go.

When did you first start getting something out of it? I'm fairly certain it slowly developed for me. (Then again, it was Catholic Church, so hard to judge anymore.) I do know alter boys aren't much older than your son and they are able to recite the right things at the right times. (Even in Latin, when I was that age. lol)

Nine? Yeah. Seems like he should be able to handle staying still. What he gets out of it depends on what he wants to get out of it.
 

pottersclay

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2015
3,565
570
113
#13
I think about 65-70 is a good age, most people that age sit still for long periods of time. The problem is when your dismissed if you still find some sitting very still......well it may be for another cause. Willie t is a exception to that rule.
 

Pilkington

Senior Member
Jan 13, 2015
640
72
28
#14
He'd get nothing out if it, if he didn't go.

When did you first start getting something out of it? I'm fairly certain it slowly developed for me. (Then again, it was Catholic Church, so hard to judge anymore.) I do know alter boys aren't much older than your son and they are able to recite the right things at the right times. (Even in Latin, when I was that age. lol)

Nine? Yeah. Seems like he should be able to handle staying still. What he gets out of it depends on what he wants to get out of it.
Hmmm, You have something there in "What he gets out of it depends on what he wants to get out of it" thats scarry as a parent, it says to me I am not in control. I think I need to trust God and see how things go, if I didn't want to give him the option I shouldn't have asked him. If he wants to give sitting in Church a go then I should let him.

I think it is the feeling of the goal posts have moved in that when we had a single service he would have had the option to continue going to Sunday school until he was 16 possibly 18. As well it is the scarry feeling he is growing up.

It also made me think about my journey of coming to the Lord, or should I say the Lord drawing me to himself. I used to go to a Brethren Church's Sunday school with the neighbours grandkids. By 11 I had got board of Sunday school and stopped going. I became a Christian when I was 18.
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#15
I think about 65-70 is a good age, most people that age sit still for long periods of time. The problem is when your dismissed if you still find some sitting very still......well it may be for another cause. Willie t is a exception to that rule.
When I sit for a while though, I also fall asleep. lol
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#17
Hmmm, You have something there in "What he gets out of it depends on what he wants to get out of it" thats scarry as a parent, it says to me I am not in control. I think I need to trust God and see how things go, if I didn't want to give him the option I shouldn't have asked him. If he wants to give sitting in Church a go then I should let him.

I think it is the feeling of the goal posts have moved in that when we had a single service he would have had the option to continue going to Sunday school until he was 16 possibly 18. As well it is the scarry feeling he is growing up.

It also made me think about my journey of coming to the Lord, or should I say the Lord drawing me to himself. I used to go to a Brethren Church's Sunday school with the neighbours grandkids. By 11 I had got board of Sunday school and stopped going. I became a Christian when I was 18.
When we were planning on having kids, I kept asking if it was okay if I keep my kids safely locked in the house until they were 35. Apparently, this is illegal. :eek:

We all want to train kids up to the way they should go, but the best we can do is impart what we've learned and hope they get something out of it. (Or even listen.) Try as we might, we're going to have to accept we can't make them think like us (or, better yet sometimes, NOT think like us.) It's guiding.

And that's why I'm glad God didn't have us have kids. I have absolutely no idea what to do with them if we can't even make them think like they're supposed to. lol
 

Desertsrose

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2016
2,818
204
63
#18
hi, Pilkington :)

we kept our kids with us in the service from the time they were babies. our church encouraged families to worship together, thank God. we had coloring books and such for them when they were toddlers, but they quickly learned to be quiet and not distract others. they learned to pay attention as they grew older.

i think most kids can do the same, providing the parent(s) are willing, and the other people in the building gracious as our church family was.

ps-- our third born was so accustomed to being in the service, when she was less than a year old her favorite lullaby was "The Church's One Foundation", a hymn we sang in church. ;)

Hi notmyown,

We also belonged to a church similar to that.

There was no Sunday school which seemed
strange because we had never encountered a church like that.

When church began we all joined in, kids and parents and it worked well also. The youngest could go to the nursery up until two years old I think it was.

If there was an issue, everyone knew they could take their child to the nursery room and they had the sermon wired so that the mother could hear it while she was taking care of her child.

It worked really well and we liked the fact that our kids were with us. I think it's nice for the kids to feel it's family worship time and they get to be a part of it and watch their parents worship as their example to follow. :)
 

Dan58

Senior Member
Nov 13, 2013
1,970
301
83
#19
Dan58, my son who is 9 could sit through the service without disturbing the congregation but would he get anything from the service.

Then make him go anyway.. Your the parent, and a 9 year old should be exposed to God whether he's into it or not. My parents made me go to church even though I wasn't wild about it. Things I heard and learned there were invaluable later in life.. Kids are very vulnerable, its important to set them on the right track, even if they don't absorb much of what they're being exposed to. Its also important for them to know that their parents are God fearing folks who hold something beyond the here and now in high regard. Its good for kids, whether they know it or not. A 9 year old might tell you they aren't getting anything out of going to school, but you make them go anyway.. God is more important than school, its the best thing you can open a child's eyes to.. jmo... "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not" (Luke 18:16)
 

wolfwint

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2014
2,316
442
83
#20
What age should children sit through the main service at Church? Kind of looking for opinions.
With 12 our children are finnish sunday school. I dont know how it is in Britain ore US, but it seems me that the view for a child has changed. He is becoming more and more the middlepoint everywhere. Sitting in an sunday service has also to do with discipline for every age. But when they should learn to be quiet and listening? In age of computer and smartphone this is difficult for teens and twens too. And I would expect from a preacher that he has all who are listening in his view, when he shares the word of God. To seperat young and old to long i personelly not find uesefull for a community.