From a parent’s or grandparent’s perspective, when our little children get loud in the worship service we find ourselves in a dilemma. Real or imagined, we feel the critical gaze of some burning right through our backs. We absolutely do not want to be a hindrance to those worshipping but that is now impossible. If mom or dad picks up the noisy child to leave, a “scene” has been caused. If children are allowed to make noise and then be excused from the rest of the service, they learn to continue to do so in the future. So children that have to be taken out should be brought back in when quieted, but coming back in causes a distraction as well and there isn’t always room in the back of the auditorium.
From a preacher’s perspective, it is a beautiful sound! It is evidence that parents and grandparents went through a lot of trouble to get their families ready to come to worship. It is the sound of vitality in a congregation. Sure, some babies have out voiced the preacher at times, but that’s okay. They will learn. I would think that any preacher would much rather preach to a noisy auditorium with children than preach to a quiet one without them.
Jesus said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14). Sometimes our “suffering” tolerance is too low. Time after time the Bible encourages us to be “longsuffering.” Encourage and build up young parents and grandparents. Compliment them for wrestling with their children and making the effort. If children are too much of a distraction you, move up towards the front. There isn’t a lot of 2 and 3 year old action on the first couple of pews. Thank God for crying toddlers and screaming babies in the assembly. – Taken from the Harvester, bulletin of the church of Christ in Trenton, TN (March 27, 2022).