Thinking Out Loud

September 1, 2011

Are Crying Babies and Noisy Kids in Church from The Devil?

When I was a kid, church platforms never looked like these

In the church where I spent my early teens, I clearly remember the pastor once saying that “the devil” will use a crying baby to distract you from hearing the message. Yes, this is true. He really said that. Hey Mom, your toddler’s fussing is Satanic.

So I was intrigued when Christianity Today took on the subject yesterday, Should Churches Try to Minimize Disruptions?

The timing on this was also interesting as we just finished listening to a sermon from Mars Hill Grand Rapids that was recorded on the 4th of July when the children were all part of the main service.You could hear the occasional crying, and the pastor actually celebrated this by inviting the kids on the platform as part of an excellent illustration.

The link above takes you to the article with the comments all displayed. If you want to see a news story about the child removed from Elevation Church, here is a local news report, which I found in this excellent piece by Skye Jethani. (I should add that I’m a fan of Steven Furtick, I’m reporting a single issue here, not trying to tear down someone’s ministry.) This blog covered the Perry Noble situation in July.

If you go to a small-town church, you may not get the need for this discussion. On the other hand, in some mega-churches the services are ‘produced’ like any Broadway show, with state of the art sound and lighting; and the idea of everyone not being 110% focused on what is happening on the stage platform is unthinkable. I do like the way Andy Stanley handles this though: He chooses to sell the parents on the quality of their children’s ministry rather than make the same kind of proclamation as Perry Noble. (In a recent message on sexuality, they were firm about the subject matter not being appropriate for younger kids; but in so doing, were admitting that the kids do show up in ‘big church’ at other times.)

Once again, here’s the CT story link with comments.

Have we all gotten too professional about weekend worship events?  Is the Church responding sufficiently to the increasing percentage of special needs kids in the general population?

I had forgotten that closer to the time of the Elevation Church incident, we did a blog repost here from Rachel Held Evans.  Check out It’s Hip to Be Un-Hip.


UPDATE: (Sept 3rd) — Turns out Pete Wilson covered this topic the same day as I.  Be sure to read the 70+ comments.

PHOTOS: Click the images themselves to link to Church Stage Design Ideas.

August 10, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Introductory paragraph providing a friendly greeting and visual balance to the list which follows; often accompanied by a picture of a lynx allowing for lame “Wednesday List Lynx” pun.

  • The Meeting House, Canada’s largest multi-site church, is wrapping up a very unusual summer sermon series that you can catch online.  For each Sunday, teaching pastor Bruxy Cavey has invited representatives of different denominations to share their history and distinctives and then do a ten-minute mini-sermon on a passage of their choice.   We’ve especially enjoyed the Anglican, Salvation Army, Presbyterian (Reformed) and Pentecostal guests.  Check it out on audio or video.
  • How good is your church at dealing with families with special needs children?  Jason Wert guests at Wrecked for the Ordinary with a post titled Autism in the Church.
  • Worship Song searchers: Here’s a video to Your Great Name by Krissy Nordhoff.
  • Bradley Wright says that the average American doesn’t despise Evangelicals, in fact they rather like them.  Warning: This is a seven page CT article!
  • A Texas jury finds the polygamist with the 12-year-old and 15-year-old ‘wives’ guilty of sexual assault. The CNN story cites an audio recording played at the trial.  Who records stuff like this?  Was the video camera not working?  Bizarre.
  • Matt Chandler and Geoff Ashley sit down in front a camera for eight minutes of discussion on the necessity of seminary education.
  • Anne Graham Lotz and Joel Rosenberg are hosting a nation-wide simulcast on the evening of September 11th — the tenth anniversary of the event that made that date infamous — titled A Wake Up Call for God’s People.  Find out how a church in your area can be part of the event.
  • Rebecca St. James was due to travel to Norway on the weekend for concerts that were scheduled before the tragedy there last month.  She hopes her visit will be part of the healing process for that nation.
  • The next installment of Schullergate is an August 1st story saying the church has said, “Thanks, but no thanks” to all offers and has taken the church off the market to try to resurrect it themselves.
  • Trevin Wax returns from his summer blogging break only to report it wasn’t much of a break.  Pray for TW and his family.
  • For whatever reason — perhaps contrast to the above link — Trevin Wax celebrates 50 years of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown with a catalog of the annual Sunday comic panels.
  • The WordPress blog name DialingForDoctrine is available.  Just thought I’d mention that.  But don’t take it if you’re not going to have some fun with it.  And shouldn’t there be a rule that if you never posted anything, and a year is up, the name should release back into the available pool?  Or if you put up a single post, but it’s been two years?  Blogspot squatters, this means you especially.

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