Babies - no.Small children - yes, but perhaps the cut off should be five years old.Kids this little detract too much from the service. It always diverts attention from what's important (the sermon), and it seems easily fixed.
Children were always a part of the crowds that surrounded Jesus. Not only did he not mind their presence, he welcomed them with open arms. Their relationship to him was (and is) important. Their worship of him is acceptable.There are few times we get to look at how people gathered for worship in the book of Acts. One thing that characterized those times was people coming together as families. Paul's response to unruly behavior was gentle correction and instruction, not isolation.Crossroads has excellent programs for our young children designed to help them worship the Lord and learn from him. These should be encouraged. But not everyone will want to take advantage of these programs. I would imagine that at least some visitors would prefer to not place their children in these classes until they themselves are more comfortable with us as a church. We should not stand in the way of them coming to Christ.Cell phones also go off during services. Although we do ask that people silence their phones it has not eliminated the problem. Should we also ask folks to check their phones in somewhere before the service?We have been careful to encourage families with young children to take their children into the Town Hall if the child is becoming disruptive. This seems to me to be adequate and the most respectful way to handle this.
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