This was the first Sunday in years that I took the kids to church sans hubbie who was sleeping after working the overnight shift at work. And how did it go... GREAT! We've been going to this church for about 3 months now so I thought it was time to try.
I dropped the older two off in their Sunday School class, took Nut to his little class and Kabe went to sing in the choir with me. I was just a little worried about Kabe sitting up in the choir loft with me and being quiet the whole service but she did a wonderful job. Kabe actually prefers to go to the service with DH over staying in Sunday school.
Everyone in choir thought she was a little doll and when I sat down in the alto section during warm-up the sopranos were calling over that Kabe was a soprano and better sit with them. We went in to the service and Kabe sat on her own chair and stood, sat and sang along with the liturgy. At one point the pastor announced a 60th wedding anniversary for a couple in our church and everyone started clapping. I look over and little Kabe is sitting up straight in her chair with her two baby dolls on her lap enthusiastically clapping.
For the sermon I let her snack on some "Honey Pillows" (a new cereal from Kashi I bought with a coupon) and after that she colored in her coloring book. The tenor behind her was watching her color and afterword told me that watching her really brightened his day. Everyone in choir wants me to bring her back so she can be the new choir mascot.
I'm glad it went so well but she is my shy, quiet and observant laid-back little girl. So much of this is personality Part of the reason we didn't go to church for several years was because the church we went to in North Dakota didn't have any kind of programs during church once the kids got to be past nursery age. Em just couldn't handle more than about 45 min of the almost 90 min service and I would get so frustrated. I didn't understand age-appropriate behavior expectations and it got to be so stressful then impossible. She is one of two more active children I have and she was having some medical issues to boot.
It helps now that the kids are a little bit older. We also now go to a traditional Lutheran church where the service is not quite an hour long and a shorter sermon (phew- no more 45 minute ones!). I like the variety and rhythm of the traditional liturgy with the organ, hymns, classical music, readings and communion. We also choose to go to the service that is during the kids Sunday school so they don't usually go in with us.
Although the other week the boys were sick so I took Em to church myself. What do you know- now that she is 9 she can sit still and we had a pleasant and relaxing time together in the service. What a different attitude I have now than a few years ago about this! I'm way more relaxed and no longer view your young children being in the service with you as "more godly" or "biblical" or whatever. Eventually we'll probably all do Sunday School first and then all regularly go to the service, but not for a while.