Help! My Child Can't Sit Still In Church
Either tell those parents and their misbehaving children to leave the church or I will no longer come!”, “These children cannot sit still for a moment!”, “I am so distracted with all these noisy children that I can’t focus on the sermon!” Several church members shared these feelings with me, and I understand their frustration. There is another side to the issue, however, that we would do well to remember—the exasperation and distress that the parents feel. Many parents with young children are feeling stressed out and are tempted to attend church no longer. They are overwhelmed, and there are several reasons for this:
1. Parents have their own expectations.
2. Parents notice the expectations of others and feel pressured.
3. Children sense the stress around them.
4. Children feel bored.
Children of any age have ups and downs, just as adults do, and may have a restless Sabbath. A restless child, however, is oftentimes not appreciated. Running around in the backyard is OK, but not in church. So, some parents may decide to skip worship service altogether. This is certainly not a solution, because Jesus wants the children to come to Him (see Matt. 19:14), and He Himself attended “church” on a regular basis(see Luke4:16).
Teaching a child only on Sabbaths about appropriate church behavior is not enough. Parents must do it at home throughout the week as well. At the earliest age, help your children to become familiar with expected behavior in church or other worship settings.
Here are a few suggestions:
1. Begin while the mom is pregnant. Set aside a certain time for worship every day, in the morning and in the evening. Pray specifically for your unborn child and ask God for help to train the child according to His will. Think ahead about the type of teaching methods you want to use and the rules you want to establish for your child.
2. When the baby is born and life consists of sleeping, feeding, and changing diapers, do not discard your personal devotions time.
3. Begin the good habit of having worship with your newborn baby right away. Some parents ask, “When should I start telling stories as well as praying and singing with my child?” Don’t wait. Children, even infants, may “catch” more than we think they do, and they may feel the special atmosphere when we talk to God. It also helps to establish worship time with your child as a priority.
4. If this is not your first child, include the baby in the worship you have with your other children. They are expecting the baby to join in the family devotional time. Well-educated, older children positively influence the younger ones (see Child Guidance, p. 27).
Train a Baby?
Some parents may believe that little training can be accomplished with infants, but in reality, it’s never too soon to start.
Worship in Church?
At home it’s easy to instruct your child on how to behave and quietly sit and listen. In church, however, it’s best to instruct using body language and eye control rather than verbally. Signs such as putting your finger to your lips to indicate silence, pointing to the knees for kneeling, or directing the child to a little wallet containing the offering prepared the day before, should usually do the job. Prepare a Sabbath bag with selected “Sabbath” toys that are not used during the week and are “sermon” safe (they don’t make noise). Look for books and soft toys that relate to nature and the Bible. Notice also that some children are fine without a toy. If possible, take only one toy out of the “Sabbath bag.” If the child wants another one, return the first one to the bag and then choose a second one. Try to
keep it simple; it helps children to be less restless. Plan ahead. As your children grow, you might encounter different types of problems and distractions. Ask God for solutions. The Holy Spirit will give you ideas on how to master the respective situation. Always be an example to your children and consider ahead of time what you yourself will be doing during the worship service. If you whisper, your child will whisper. If you close your eyes during prayer, most likely your child will too. If you go to the restroom before the worship service starts, they may do that too. Also, be prepared for unexpected situations. Have a backup for emergencies. I usually carry a toy or other interesting object in my purse. It’s helpful to surprise your child with something a little different if you encounter an unforeseen situation or if your child starts crying. If you have to take your child out of the sanctuary for some reason, such as their crying, do it quickly. Don’t wait too long. Then solve the problem and come back. The sanctuary is the place for worship. Of course, there are exceptions. For example, a child may not be feeling well, perhaps teething. In situations such as that, you might want to stay in the “parents’ room.”
Everyone Is Unique
God created every child as a unique individual. No two are exactly alike, so not every suggestion mentioned here will work for every child. Most of the guidelines are based on my own personal experiences, on those of other parents, and on counsel given in Ellen G. White’s book Child Guidance. For me and my children, they have worked most of the time. I still adhere to these guidelines even though my children are grown. Other “church children” sit
next to me during worship service, and I can still be an example to them with my own behavior and help to show them how to enjoy church. Let’s together love and train the little ones for Jesus.
--Geri Mueller, a soloist and flute teacher, enjoys being involved in ministry at her local church in Maryland. This article was published April 19, 2012. Please Visit the Conference Website For the Entire Article.
CONFERENCE CALENDAR OF EVENTS AT A GLANCE
OCTOBER IS INGATHERING EMPHASIS MONTH
16 - 19: CHAM Week of Prayer
14: NATIONAL HEROES DAY
18 - 20: Global Public Campus Ministry Weekend
19: SBC Women’s Ministries Conclave – The Pink Impact
19: Spirit of Prophecy Weekend
24: SBC Executive Committee Meeting
26: Pastor’s Appreciation Day
Media Christmas Recordings (Month of October)
ATCU PUSH INITIATIVE
The prayer focus of The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) for the week, October 20-26: Abused Parents.
Bible Conference 2019
Islam and Christianity-Daniel 11
November 27-30, 2019 at the
Centreville Seventh-day Adventist Church.
All members are invited!
WATCH HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
CHILDREN & ADOLESCENT MINISTRIES DEPARTMENT
October 16-19 – CHAM Week of Prayer under the theme: ‘Steel Values’at the New Providence Church, Soldier Rd. Let us support the children of our Conference and keep them in prayer as they seek to develop the character of God with the help of Christ.
CHAM Art Competition RESULTS
Theme: “God’s Wonderful Creation”
1st Place – Beyonce Knowles
2nd Place – Danae Greene
3rd Place – Davia Chambers & Pete Ingraham
Congratulations to the winner and other participants on a job well done!
-- Mrs. Lavern Sturrup, C.H.A.M Director.
FAITH & SCIENCE WEEKEND
October 24 - 26, 2019
The South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists will join the World Church in celebrating ‘Creation Sabbath’ with a weekend of events. Guest Speaker: Dr. Arthur Chadwick, Research Professor of Biology and Geology at Southwestern Adventist University.
- Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 6:00 p.m. @ The University of The Bahamas (Franklyn Wilson Graduate Centre)
- Friday, October 25, 2019 - 7:00 p.m. @ Bethany Church
- Creation Sabbath, October 26, 2019
8:00 a.m @ Grant's Town Church, 11:00 a.m. @ Hillview Church, and 4:00 p.m & 4:30p.m, "The Earth is a Witness" film & Open Forum (Q & A) @ Hillview Church respectively. Invite your friends, come and celebrate the wonders of God's creation as seen through science.
ADVENTIST MEN’S MINISTRIES
Presents a Father and Children Symposium
Date: Sunday, October 20, 2019
Time: 9:00a.m – 12:00noon
Venue: Bahamas Academy
Engaging young people in doing small things we take for granted like changing a tire, using the hammer, giving someone a jump, etc.
–Elder Curtis Bryan, Men’s Ministries Coordinator.
WOMEN’S MINISTRIES JOINT WOMEN’S CONCLAVE
All women and young women in the South Bahamas Conference are invited to attend the 2019 Women’s Ministries Conclave, October 18 & 19 under the theme: God’s Beloved Daughters: Rescued, Redeemed, Restored & Released. Pastor Brenda Billingy from the North American Division is poised to come and share a message of Hope and Restoration. The men of our Conference are especially invited to attend the service on Friday evening at 6:45p.m at the Hillview Church. Please note that all services of the Women’s Ministries Department are free of charge so you can’t afford to miss this one of a kind worship experience. See you there!!
October 2019 Conclave Forecast:
18 – Vesper Service at 6:45p.m Hillview Church
19 - Sabbath Services as follows:
- 9:30 a.m Sabbath School
- 11:00 a.m Divine Worship Service
- 5:45 p.m “Ask Pastor Brenda” Interactive Session
- 7:45 p.m Women’s Fun and Fellowship
- -Mrs. Jacqueline Gibson, Women’s Ministries Director.
SOUTH BAHAMAS CONFERENCE MUSIC MINISTRIES
Rehearsals for the newly organized SBC Youth Choir, for persons ages 15 - 30, continues at the Agape Church, Wulff Road, this Sunday and every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. You are invited to be a part of this dynamic Youth Choir.--Mrs. Annette Dorsett, Music Coordinator, South Bahamas Conference.
All Prayer coordinators of the South Bahamas Conference are invited to a special meeting at the Conference office on Tuesday October 22nd, 2019 at 6:30p.m. Please be on time.
Conference-Wide Week of Prayer
Week of Prayer is scheduled for November 2- 9, 2019. This will be held at the Grant’s Town Church, Monday through Friday at 5o’clock to 6 o’clock in the morning. All churches are asked to encourage members to support the joint in the morning or to assemble at their local churches in the evening with their local congregations for this Week of Prayer program. --Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Prayer Coordinator.
YOUTH DEPARTMENT TIDBITS
NATIONAL YOUTH MONTH
The National Youth March and Rally will be conducted on Sunday, October 27, 2019 leaving from Clifford Park at 3:00 p.m.
Uniform: FOR ADVENTURERS, PATHFINDERS & MASTERGUIDES: CLASS A UNIFORMS
ADVENTIST YOUTH: ROYAL BLUE GLOBAL YOUTH DAY T-SHIRTS
PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR THE MARCH ROUTE.
THE YOUTH DEPARTMENT PRESENTS: “WE2019”
A Winter Evangelism Series for Children, Youth & Adults.
Theme: “Answers for Your Attacks”
Venue: New Providence Church, Soldier Road Date/Time: November 2-16, 2019, at 7: 00p.m to 8: 30p.m nightly/ 11:00 a.m on Sabbaths!
Nightly feature: The premiere of the Adventist produced TV series: ‘Believe a Lie!’
Monday & Thursday are nights off!
Evangelist: Pr. Jamal Franklyn
Host Pastor: Pr. Alvarico Moss
Invite a friend and plan to attend to get your answers! --Pastor Jamal Franklyn, Youth Director.
CENTREVILLE CHURCH ANNIVERSARY
All are invited to join the members of the Centreville Church, on Sabbath, November 2, 2019 during the Divine Worship service at 11:00 am., as we celebrate the church's Anniversary under the theme, "Remembering What He Has Done". We will be featuring Negro Spirituals and the guest soloist for that day will be Ms. Georvantae Wells, a Music major at the University of The Bahamas. Come and be blessed!
The Philadelphia Church celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the following events.
- Wednesday November 30th - Prayer and Praise at the Elizabeth Estates Park
- Friday November 22nd - Praise and Worship at the Church
- Sabbath November 23rd - Divine Service
- Sunday November 24th, the celebration climaxes with a Gala Banquet at the National Training Agency. Tickets are on sale. –Mrs. Annette Dorsett.
Seventh-day Adventist Justices of the Peace
All Seventh-day Adventist Justice of the Peace are invited to a special meeting on Sunday October 20, 2019 6: 00p.m sharp at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church. Please make a special effort to attend. -- Bro. Clement Maycock.
Rehearsal for the Finale Chorale will be held at the Grant's Town Church at 7:00 p.m on Tuesday October 22, and Tuesday October 29, 2019. All members are asked to be in attendance as we prepare for our debut on Friday December 20, 2019. –Mr. Nelson Bain, Director.
Please Email Weekly Announcements
By Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.
Visit the Conference website:
SUN SETS NEXT SABBATH
October 26, 2019 AT 6:33P.M.