Churches: Part 4

by Sarah Luna

Today I visited First Baptist Church.

The people here were the most welcoming to me. During the greet your neighbor part, people would walk across the room to introduce themselves to me.

Even though it was welcoming, it wasn’t a comfortable place.

The woman sitting next to me had a precious baby girl named Sarah and a little girl about 6 or 7 years old. The baby, of course, didn’t know when to keep quiet. She was making her happy baby noises all throughout the announcements and hymns. That never bothers me though; it simply reminds me of Psalm 8:2 and makes me smile.

The older girl was antsy, too, and had to be constantly shushed. At one point she protested: “But mom! I get SO BORED when it’s too quiet.” And since it was “too quiet”, I’m pretty sure the entire congregation heard.

And you know what, that little girl had a point. Her words were my epiphany this morning. Once she said that, I realized that there was nothing there for her or any of the other children.  They were expected to sit there quietly through hymns and sermons that were not meant for them and that they probably didn’t understand. There was a vacuum.

I also agreed with her that it was too quiet. I was raised in contemporary services (as opposed to traditional). LOUD contemporary services. Where the praise and worship often could be heard from the streets. I assumed that was normal growing up. Since being in college, I’ve come to learn that style of worship referred to as charismatic and realize that not only is it not normal, it’s actually frowned upon by many. I really don’t have anything to say to that.

I don’t know if I’ll go back to First Baptist, but I’ll certainly pray for their children’s ministry.

Next Sunday, I’ll be in Texas!