Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Children Within Community

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Our church hosted a community outreach event this past Saturday called, Summerfest 2012.  It was a good reminder to me of what I love about our church.  We are a small congregation.  If everyone would come at the same time, which they never do, we would be about 65.  The majority of our people are over the age of 45, and yet, we do have a good number of very young children and teens.  Nothing different than most normal small churches.

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Except for the fact that we embrace our children and teens.  We include them in the service.  They know that they have a role to play in our church.  They aren't pushed to the background or told that they have to stay in the nursery or children's church.  They are welcome.  They often participate as part of our morning service.

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That does mean that things aren't always as polished as some would like.  There are mistakes.  The service can be a bit noisy.  Children don't always follow our agenda!   So there is a whole lot of training that goes on from everyone.

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Things like...

► Telling a few little girls who want to drink cup after cup of sugar laden tea, that they are being cut off! ;-)

► Or asking a teen to dial it back a bit when they start getting a little too disrespectful in their joking.

► Or  reminding two little boys that running is reserved for outside.

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But, the training is tempered with...

♥ Lots of hugs & kisses.

♥ Letting them know how happy we are they are there.

♥ Taking a genuine interest in their lives.

♥ Including them.

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I was reminded recently that we are being successful with letting our children know they are welcome when a girl told me that she loves coming to church.

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Dan & I are taking this Sunday off and are heading out to the aquarium for a vacation day.  Stephen asked his girlfriend to go but he did say that if she couldn't go, he wanted to stay home and go to church.  Not sleep in.  Not watch television.  Not play on the computer.  Go to church.  And not because we are making him go.  Love it!

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We have a great community!

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Today is Loving our Children Tuesday at my friend, Kate's blog.  Go on over and visit!