January 24, 2020

Yesterday, Cherri tagged my Facebook page and said, “This would never happen in our church.”

Curious as to what she was talking about, I read the article and watched the attached video. My heart broke.

The video showed a pastor, who in the middle of his sermon, asked the ushers to escort a young mother out of the sanctuary because her baby was making noise. It was clear members of the church were very upset that their pastor had embarrassed someone in the congregation, so he stopped his sermon to explain.

These are his words: “Listen, I love children. But see, everyone’s focus is right there right now. And sweetheart, as long as she’s fine you stand there and do your thing. But I need you to understand, somebody else got up and walked out. That’s OK. I’m not gonna affect 300 people because of a crying child. That’s why we have TVs in the outside, that’s why we have a nursery. If you get offended over that, I’m sorry, I really am sorry, but we’re not gonna do that. And I know I sound like a jerk right now, but we’re not gonna affect 300 people because of that. Let me try to get back in the mode of where I was.”

Sadly and rightly so, after hearing the pastor’s incredibly insensitive rationale for embarrassing this young woman, people walked out of the worship service rather than hear someone they considered disingenuous.

This pastor’s reaction got me thinking and this is what I’ve come up with so far.

First, by his reaction, it is easy to see that he believes he’s God’s gift to preaching. That’s why he was so incensed by the noise of a child in the worship service. Clearly, he’s got an overinflated ego. And what he’s got wrong is, if there is someone who is God’s gift to preaching, it’s me.

Second, how is this little child ever going to understand how important the offering is if she is always taken out of the service before the ushers do their thing?

All joking aside; how is this beautiful child supposed to learn that God loves her more than life itself if she’s not in church? How is she going to know that no matter what hardship she must endure, God will always be with her? How is she ever going to know that in God’s eyes, she is of infinite worth?

Know that if you attend our church, your children are our top priority and we want them in worship.

When I asked Amanda what she thought, she pulled out her big seminary words and explained that having children in worship services is best understood as acquisition learning and is much more effective than simply telling them how to behave.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Just know I will never embarrass you in worship because of your children. Other things – yes, but never your children.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me always be a conduit of your love and grace. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Children are important to Jesus, so they are important to us. That’s all we need to know.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins

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