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Children’s Church drove me to drink. maybe.

…Actually, if it really did, that would really be something, because I don’t drink.

We’ve been serving in Children’s Church as a family for many, many years.  I think it has been 6 years at this church.  It’s structured so a family teaches in one of their own children’s class, and then moves up with the class each year.  Lovely concept-yes, it has been rewarding to watch the kids grow and to know them well.  It’s fun to have all our kids help us.

And yet… we’ve come to the point where we want to stand on a chair in the big meeting and yell out,

“what is WRONG with you people and what is wrong with your children?!”

The past year it has become such an ordeal that we treat our family to a nice restaurant lunch to soothe our savaged souls.  (I should mention our service is 2 1/2 hrs. long & we are there early for set up and late for pick up) Lately I have found myself contemplating some kind of adult beverage to numb the rattled nerves.  We really are at a loss, we have a handful of boys who are a major behavior problem.  At first we thought it was their young ages, but they are now in 5th grade and have added serious disrespect to their catalog of behaviors.

We deal regularly with 5th graders who kick each other while an adult is telling the story, or push the chairs over on end, who talk over the adult, interrupt the adult with observations/questions that have nothing to do with the class, yell out slightly crude words  or funny nonsense while an adult is talking. We are not always the adults in question.

We have one boy who cannot sit still at all, and will sometimes end up rotating from head up in seat, to head down on floor, back to head up again.  I once watched him do this, then moved to contain him as he started to ooze over into the row behind him…then realized that the man trying to pin his many moving appendages to his seat area was actually his dad.  I cheered inside that for once a parent would have to deal with it.

The girls have never been a problem, until this year.  Half the girls in our class attend the private school our church runs. Suddenly this year, the lead girl decided they are too old to do crafts, so they all refused to do them.  (until I brought out the glittery stickers, change of mind!) the girls now spend the class talking to each other and ignoring the girls who do not go to their school. And talking while adults are giving the lesson.  And subtly stretching the truth/lying to your face to achieve something or a privilege they want.

We’ve contemplated quitting several times, but there is a shortage of parents willing to serve.  Actually, we finally did email a resignation for the next school year…but I’m sure they will call our bluff.

As much as I dread it, and feel guilty for dreading it;  I know {in my heart} that those kids need adults taking an interest in them.  From the behavior I see from a handful, I seriously wonder if their parents (of the problem kids) spend any time with them at all.

Despite the bone-wearing hard days, we get little bright spots, moments where you just want to hug the heck out of the kids and say,

“look at splendid you!” 

One day recently, Spider-monkey boy (the one that turns acrobats in his seat) was sitting next to me (so I could lay hands on him if needed and keep him out of the next row)…totally out of the blue (and out of turn of course), he turned to me and said…“I’m going to Disneyland today” then he added “I’m going to Catalina Island tomorrow”..then he added “I’m going to Hawaii next week”  by now my awe was changing to amusement.

Next he hit me with

I’m the center of the vortex of gravity!”

“Yes, you are all that, sweetie.”

and I wanted to hug the heck out of him and say

“look at splendid you!”

so yeah, we kind of quit, but no one has acknowledged it, so I’m guessing they called our bluff…

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About the author: Jenn; writer, photographer, homeschooled five children and lived to tell the tale.

{ 4 comments… add one }

  • Kate August 2, 2011, 8:57 AM

    Wow! And I thought our kids church was hard! The hubby and I have been doing youth group on Friday nights for years and the one thing I also came to realize is that these kids need us. They need an adult who is consistent and firm but loving. Much like our Lord. So don’t lose hope. Even if no one else sees what you’re trying to do God is faithful and good…all the time. :)

  • Lisa August 2, 2011, 11:15 AM

    Wow! What patience you have! It is awesome that you are doing something that many would not dare to do. It certainly takes a special person. May God continue to bless your efforts!
    Lisa
    http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com

  • Elena August 2, 2011, 11:58 AM

    I thought we had a hard time with Sunday School for kids at our church (almost no parents want to help), but your problems are on completely different level! Thank you for your efforts, the kids may not appreciate it now but hopefully it will change. We always can hope,right?

  • CaptiousNut August 15, 2011, 11:18 AM

    My son is almost 7 now and his local age-mates get more unbearable every year. They come in my house and open cabinets foraging for food! It’s really bad; they have no attention span; can’t even say hello and goodbye; are addicted to video games; etc. While it’s depressing from the standpoint of my child’s *socialization* the fact is….19 out of 20 adults I meet I want NOTHING to do with either. This is real life.

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