June 28, 2012

Laughter from the Pew

When your children sit in the pew with you, there is no telling what will happen.
Below are a few of our family's pewside* moments.
Maybe you have found yourself in one of these situations?

We always try to teach our children to pray along
as the pastor, elder, deacon, or worship leader prays.
We help them fold their hands and bow their heads.
Typically, the individual leading the prayer ends with an 'Amen'
and sometimes, others from the congregation
lift their voices with their own 'Amen.'
However, one of our children chose this time to shout,

When our children are small, they are allowed to stand on the pew
during the times when the congregation is asked to stand.  One time...

A child lifted their arms in praise and
simultaneously slid off the pew and onto the floor.

Aside from helping our children sing and pray, we want to teach them to listen.
As others speak, leading the congregation, we often ask the children to be quiet.
With one child, who was very fond of taking turns, we would say, "It isn't your turn to talk."
This worked smoothly for several weeks,
until one Sunday, when our pastor began his sermon, 
we weren't greeted with silence, but a loud question,
"Is it HIS turn to talk?  I don't think it is."

As the children age, and we teach them how to actively listen beyond quietness,
we ask them to take notes during the sermon.
Each child is provided with a small notebook for this purpose.
They bring their Bibles, this notebook, and a pen or pencil each Sunday.

One Sunday, a child was diligently recording notes for the first part of the sermon,
but partway through stopped. 
The child then began quietly twisting the pencil around fingers.
I let it go as the child was young and still learning how to actively listen.
Besides the notes from the first portion of the sermon were incredible.
Throughout the second part of the sermon,
the pencil wove through fingers smoothly,
until it launched through the air into the pew
and the lap of one of the persons in front of us.
Thankfully, a muffled laughter was heard
and a slight shaking of the shoulders was seen
as this individual realized what had happened. 

Perhaps this was our most stellar pewside moment,
~ Dorie

* I realize pewside is a made up word, but it sure does capture the good nature feel of sitting in the pew on a Sunday morning with children.

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