We are very excited about the “Grand Opening” of our new Family Room in Room 303. The Family Room is designed to be a place where parents can worship with their little children during the worship service. This updated room (formerly the Cry Room) is designed to be a warm and welcoming space to take squirmy and cooing children during the Sunday services whose parents want them to be a part of the worship service experience (though a video feed) as they continue to train them. We are hoping that this room provides a hospitable environment for all ages with differing needs. We’d like to create a place for parents to take their children to coach and prepare them for the main event…sitting through a full sermon. The family room will have two purposes:
The first purpose will be to give parents the freedom to teach their young children the etiquette of a Sunday service. When families feel confident enough to be in the sanctuary, it will be an easier transition.
The second purpose will be a little subtler. The hope of our church is to encourage and support children with special needs. We’d like the family room to be a safe and fun place for parents who need and desire community but may be hesitant to attend church. We plan to create a sensory wall. This wall will have shelves displaying quiet sensory toys that kindle calm and repetitive actions. These books, toys, and games are designed to be used while sitting. Thus, kids can patiently practice sitting through a sermon while listening and gently playing.
We have noticed that many parents are choosing to keep their children with them during the worship service in the sanctuary. These parents are attempting to further unify their families in the Lord and to teach their children about the importance of worship (even from infancy). Many parents are also desirous to have their toddlers participate in the first part of the service (singing and prayer) before they take them to the children’s classes. It is our desire, as a church, to come alongside our parents and help them “train up their children in the way that they should go” (Prov. 22:6) and “to bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
While we want to support these parents, we also want to do our best to remove as much distraction from the sanctuary as possible. A baby’s cute “cooing” & “babbling” can be a distraction both for those who are singing and listening to a prayer and/or sermon as well as those who are leading worship, praying and preaching. We want to find the balance of providing a “family worship” experience with an environment where the Word of God is preached without distraction. In an attempt to balance these two, we ask our parents to take advantage of one or more of the following options:
Take advantage of our new Family Room.
Allow your little ones to be loved on and taught in one of our nurseries or age appropriate children’s classes.
Sit in the back of the sanctuary so when your child begins to make noises that could distract those around you, you and your little one can quickly and quietly move to the foyer until they are quiet and can come back into the sanctuary.
Much like our preferred musical style in the worship service, we are called to serve and sacrifice our preferred “style” for the whole body. This balance of having infants and toddlers in the service and providing an undistracted environment for worship and study requires the same “service” mentality. For those that don’t have children, we ask that when a child is making their cute little “noises”, be patient with them and pray for both the parents and child, asking God to help the parents faithfully lead them to Christ. For parents with little ones in the service, we ask for a sensitivity to those in the sanctuary and take advantage of one the options that our Children’s ministry has provided.
Please come by and visit the Family Room and see if it is a good option for you; and continue to pray for our parents as they seek to fulfill the great commission in their own homes.