I’m writing in response to “Loud Hosanna,” which appeared in the June/July Lutheran Witness. I’m concerned that you focused more on disruptive children and less on how to keep children from being disruptive. Besides the quiet toys suggested, here are some other suggestions:
- Designate the front three rows of the sanctuary for families with small children. They’re less likely to be disruptive if they can see what’s happening and not just people’s backs.
- Give kids money to put in the offering.
- Teach them simple parts of the liturgy during Sunday school and at home, play church at home or even go to the church building to play church. Let the child play the part he chooses, such as pastor or usher. My son gave some great sermons to me at age 4.
- Give kids a tour of the church when it’s not worship time and have them ask question of the pastor or parents.
- Bring quiet snacks.
- Ask your church to sometimes sing children’s songs from the Sunday school program.
- For older kids, have them draw a picture of the text or sermon and share that picture with the pastor, or have a special bulletin board in the narthex to display the pictures.
- Give children who participate especially well lots of praise or even a treat after church.
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c/o The Lutheran Witness,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road,
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295;
or send them via e-mail to Lutheran.Witness@LCMS.org.