I’m not a big fan of Children’s messages at church. Let me rephrase that: Since having children, I’m not a big fan of Children’s messages at church. Let me share why:
Scene: the front of church, during a Children’s message. Characters: Dan, the pastor, our son, Ethan (around 3 years old), and a few other children. Ethan sits close to Dan, as he usually does. I see Ethan fiddling with Dan’s cincture (the belt that goes around his vestments), but don’t think much of it. He’s behaving, so I’m not going to get worried. Plus I’m dealing with Zach in the pew beside me, so I don’t have much time to think about it. Dan finishes the message, dismisses the children, and as he stands up, he jerks back down. He can’t get up. The congregation is giggling, but I don’t know why, because I’ve been busy with Zach. I look up, and realize that the reason Dan couldn’t stand up is because ETHAN TIED HIM TO THE COMMUNION RAIL. Yes, folks, that’s the Pastor’s Son! (Dan had to announce the next hymn and then spend the first verse untying himself.)
Fast forward five years. The scene is again the front of a church, except now that church is a neighboring one where we live, where I play organ. It’s Mother’s Day, and since Dan is on vacation he and the kids are worshipping in the pew while I’m accompanying the service. The pastor is a great friend of ours, and all three of our kids are up at the Children’s message. They’re behaving, thankfully, and then the pastor asks a question. My dear, sweet Emma, age 3 (what is it about age 3???) raises her hand. Pastor Ruesch calls on her, and she says, at top volume, “MY DADDY HAS A BB GUN. HE LIKES TO SHOOT THE DOG WITH THE BB GUN.” Oh. Mah. Lord. I wanted to crawl away. Yes, folks, that’s the Pastor’s Daughter! (He doesn’t really. He pretends to shoot the dog, but he never has BBs in it. And I don’t like it when he does that, because, well, obviously kids talk.)
And that’s why I don’t like Children’s messages. Can you blame me?