"If the two-year-old is in church with us, it's only because he's sick in the first place. Without the nursery, we wouldn't have heard a sermon in years."
I don't want to pick on Lenise, but I don't like church nurseries or special children's worship services. We go to church to worship God and part of that worship is listening to the sermon, but that is not the only part. One of a parent's primary jobs is to educate their children about God -- to train them up in the way that they should go.
When we send our children out of the service to a nursery, we tacitly say they are not part of the main church body. They must be shunted off some place until they learn to behave. But if they are sent out of the service, when do they learn to participate in it? When do you change from fun nurseries and watered down children's services to "Okay kids, now you have to grow up and listen to the boring stuff." Wouldn't it be better to train the children that the one service is for everyone? God is for the eight month old and the eighty year old alike.
Jesus said, "Let the children come unto me." Are we to suppose that listening to an entire sermon or making sure that nobody around us is bothered by a wiggling toddler is more important than teaching our children that they are a vital part of a church.
Are my children perfect? Do they sit still, face forward and pay attention? Almost never. Are they part of the body of the Church? Yes. Do they need to be acknowledged as such by encouraging them to participate in worship with the adults? Yes.
In today's society, we grownups spend a lot of time trying to get away from the kids we have, because we think they are annoying. Sometimes they are. However, it doesn't make them less annoying if we don't spend time teaching them how to be adults. I take my children to real restaurants, on errands of all kinds and I take them with me to church.
I do not take them everywhere I go and I occasionally like some down time away from them (I like dates with my husband and quiet trips to the grocery store as much as anyone), but one place I think it especially my duty to instruct the little blighters is at church. Sure send them to Bible classes when they split up into various ages, but when the congregation comes together to worship God as a body, they are part of that body and they need to be there.
5 years ago