The Importance of Family Friendly Churches in the 21st Century
I am currently taking a sabbatical from ministry to work on writing a book and getting my health back to normal.
It is wonderful living in Kerrville. The last few months we have been checking out different churches to see what would benefit our family and needs. A couple of Sundays ago we went to one church where they had power point for their announcements and information for visitors as well. When we came in they gave us a copy of a program that explain what their church was about. In both the power point and information pack kept stressing to keep your children quiet during church and if you had to take out a crying baby or child that they could still hear it in their foyer - stressing that they didn't want children to go to the bathroom during worship.
Well our youngest son Quinn is potty training and when he needs to go, he needs to go. Our middle son Collin misbehaves sometimes where we have to take him out and he cries. Ethan our oldest that morning had stomach problems and he had to get up.
We of course left disappointed and mentioned how the church as not family friendly at all and that our boys needed a church and believers that would appreciate them, love them, and help them grow in the knowledge and grace of God.
This past Sunday we placed our membership at the Kerrville Church of Christ. It has many young families including classes and ministries for the children. Dr. Greg Cummings is the minister at the church. He does a fantastic job keeping the audience's attention and makes the word of God come to life in an applicable way.
It is a grace oriented church that loves and cares for those who attend, including the children. One of the things we enjoy is that they invite the children to come forward and one of the elders of the church gives them a short message and prays over them. Children's church follows immediately after the blessing. Children's church allows the younger kids to learn on their appropriate age levels and gives the parents the opportunity to sit and get fed by the sermons.
The Medina Children's home (children, house parents , single mother cottages and all the other staff) have also placed membership over the past month. The church has been experiencing baptisms weekly. It is wonderful to see such growth happening at this congregation. It is alive and viberant as God continues to bless it. It is a great place for us to develop relationships and grow in faith. It is wonderful getting fed for a while, yet they equip members for service by using their gifts and talents. We are excited to be a part of this body of Christ and getting involved in community groups.
So the questions I want to ask and discuss are as follows: Do you think it is important for a church to be family friendly? Why or why not? What happens to churches who are not family friendly? What happens to churches that are family friendly? Is your church family friendly? If so, what kind of growth have you seen in your church? Is it possible for a non-family friendly church to become a family friendly church? If so, how? What steps and attitudes should churches take to be more family friendly? Do you see the church of the 21st century becoming more family friendly? Are you at a family friendly church? How has being in a family friendly church helped you?
What do you think?
Share your thoughts.