Preaching Articles



I was recently at a conference where each day the Bible study was led by a performance artist/theologian who acted out the biblical story and gave some exegetical/theological insight to the Scriptures. The content was terrific: substantial and challenging. But on the second day, a baby began to jibber-jabber loudly in the audience.

After a few minutes of this, the performer stopped the show, looked in frustration at the baby and parent, and said, “I love children, but I’m getting really distracted.” The parent and child got up and left the room … followed by several other parents who went out in solidarity and in protest. 

I talked later with the parent and made this claim: A crying baby is a test as to whether someone is preaching or performing.

A performance is about focus and transmission of content—a solo or group act is on-stage doing an activity (singing, dancing, speaking, painting, instrument performance, etc.)—and it is the audience’s job to receive the content and appreciate or engage it.

A sermon (and I tend to appreciate black preachers’ definitions of sermons and preaching) is “verbal and nonverbal communication of the inward manifestation of a command by the Holy Spirit to relate to others something about God’s presence, purpose and power in one’s life and in the life of all of humanity.” (Teresa Fry Brown, Delivering the Sermon, pp. 17)

Given these two definitions, I get how babies can be a distraction to a performance. As a parent of an 11-month-old, my crying baby seems to be about 10x louder for me than she is for other people. Her cries are amplified, and her running commentary on her dad’s sermon pierces through a crowd. So I get how a baby would interrupt a performance’s transmission of beauty or message, because they interrupt that well-crafted focus.

But preaching is about naming and claiming God’s love present in the room. It’s about that Holy Spirit that isn’t given to the preacher and then transmitted to the people: that Spirit is in each one there and they communicate back and forth. Churches that have call-and-response to the preaching moment get this phenomenon, and to them, crying babies are just another “amen” section. The preacher is preaching if they connect with the congregation: calling out a crying baby and causing them to leave idolizes the spoken word as more important than the body of Christ fully present in the room.

There are practical considerations: Churches create “cry rooms” so that parents feel more comfortable (and, to be honest, some non-parents as well). Other parishioners can help comfort the baby if the parent is OK with it. I’ve seen my share of church-fails such as when another parishioner took a baby out of the parents hands and walked with the baby out of the sanctuary—had I been a more fully aware preacher that would have merited a call-out! Let’s be clear: Parents self-selecting to take a baby out is one thing; public shaming or pressure to send a baby out is wholly another.

It’s my belief that if I can’t preach over, above, through or alongside a crying baby, then I have no business preaching. And I should do serious reflection as to whether I am performing the Word of God or if I am allowing the Word to speak through and without me—the latter will not be stopped by a crying baby, and indeed, it is incomplete without the presence of all who need to experience it.

What say you?



The Rev. Jeremy Smith is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and currently serves as Minister of Discipleship at First United Methodist Church in Portland, Oregon. He blogs about faith, technology, and geeky topics at http://HackingChristianity.net

Talk about it...

Chet Gladkowski

commented on Dec 26, 2013

It is pure arrogance that it must be all about "us" and our performance. It's all about Jesus, pointing people to him, challenging us to repentance, loving God and people more. Jesus used the things and people around him to communicate truth. When people interrupted him, bringing children or their troubles to him, Jesus leveraged that to make God known. And so should we.

Eddie Chasteen

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I agree completely with my Brother Smith. The love and compassion for mothers with children can be the lesson God is actually using to get His message of patience across to other onlookers. I think the same as with cell phones going off, how a preachers handles this says more of the preacher than the one who forgot to silence their phone.

Nola-Susan Crewe

commented on Dec 26, 2013

As a grandmother of 9 and mother of 5 I am not distracted by crying babies . However, I cannot say the same for my parishioners. WHile I would never ask anyone to leave the service: we are all there to worship, I do believe it is very bad manners to allow a distraction you are creating to continue when it interferes with another's ability to get the nourishment they came to experience. Whether it is someone responding to the phone's ring with conversation, loud commentary on what someone thinks of a point in the sermon or a crying baby who will not be comforted, the adult can solve the problem for others. And I can't imagine that anyone with a crying child is able themselves to concentrate on the service or the message the minister is attempting to deliver. But when common courtesy does not prevail, I just carry on and trust to the Spirit to provide succour.

Abraham Murray

commented on Dec 26, 2013

A very thought provoking and powerful word: "If I can?t preach over, above, through or alongside a crying baby, then I have no business preaching". I also began to think that as worshipers we need to be able to worship over, above, through, and alongside all the things we see as distractions - or perhaps we have lost the capacity to engage in true worship unless all is well in our lives and surroundings ....

Ralph M

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I disagree completely with this, having been a member of a church that dealt with this the way this article says should be...and the fact the distraction hits more than the minister. It hits those listening. A parents responsibility is to teach their child to behave, and at an age of a baby, unless it's a special event calling for them, they should not be a distraction. The church I go to now, after the value of God was taken out and mans values was placed by those coming, and even touting sin as of God, has a simple answer for this. Children and parents are a part of the church services, for songs, update on events and even special occasions calling for children to be present...but then before the sermon they are dismissed, as well as babies, to Sunday School and nurseries, and the message, beginning with making sure all have Bibles to read along, are more spiritual and filling...than it would be with easily taken care of distractions. I would go so far as to say, it is only commonsense you would not want to distract any minister from thought, that the message is the key...and while this is not perfect for visiting parents some times, helping to get Gods message, for ears to hear and hearts to be changed, don't need distractions, and we should honor a ministers time and effort, which we take for granted in the ease they deliver sermons, and we don't see the practices, with visual effects and other people involved in the sermon, behind the scenes. Compassion, in my opinion, should be for the minister giving God guided instructions...and Satan can be enough of distraction, on hearts just listening to the sermon alone in church, from the wandering of our fleshly nature. The sign of respect, that is taught from parents to their children...that is missing in many churches, and commonsense today.

Chester Jacobs

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Ralph, I can understand that having a fidgety child or fussy child can be a distraction. However, I must say that I disagree with having a child be removed from the entire part of the worship service, especially when the child is away from their parents. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to train our children in the way that they should go. I have no doubt that all of us, on this discussion board, know this scripture. Now, I have a spirited child. She can be a handful at times. When she was a baby, she would fuss and cry, seemingly, every time we would enter church for the worship service. She, at the time, did not yet understand how to behave at that point of the service. We took her out when she was fussy, but we had to train her as well. So, after her needs were met, we would bring her back into the sanctuary. Why? Our daughter had to learn to behave properly in the sanctuary from my example and her mom's example. Baby's learn a lot from shared experiences and repetition. I understand that there are exceptions to rules, but for my daughter, as well as the other children where we attend church services, remaining in the sanctuary is the norm. In fact, we include our children in the worship service, such as scripture reading and occasionally deliver a sermon. After all, our children are the future of the church. They are the soldiers-in-training for God's kingdom. As an elder in the church, I believe that it is part of my duty to help train and equip others to have/develop a meaningful relationship with Christ, to be leaders in the church and to lead others to Christ. Today, my daughter is almost six years old and loves the Lord. She is also learning to take ownership of her own spiritual walk by having her own devotional times. Separation has its place at times, but if we children are to learn many necessary lessons, they must be included in the activity.

Ralph M

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I disagree with a lot of what you are saying. First off, the children go to Sunday school to learn an age appropriate lesson. To say they add to a service, most of the time is a disservice to that statement. Let me see if this makes more sense. Do you go to see a movie at a theater? When you go and you hear crying babies, people talking, phones ringing or inconsiderate people making all kinds of noises, do you distracted in what you paid your money for? Most would say yes, and if that is the case isn't the Word of God even more important? At least in the church I go to it is, and it's not sugarcoated to the 'social justice' and 'co-exist' mindsets. We have had homosexuals show up for services...and afterwards they have gone to the pastor convicted, in both positive and negative ways. No distractions to take away truth or God's Word to be heard clearly and concisely. If we valued our pastors as much as we value to hearing movies without crying babies, unless they are crying to point out what is being said (ridiculous). Like I said, I have been to both churches, and I take many notes from what the pastor is saying, scripture verses for future study and words that come to me while he is preaching...If I had a crying baby next to me, and I have, or child getting up and down, that IS a distraction, and it is NOT a parent that is teaching their child, in my opinion. Having been a teacher in Sunday School for many years, until I felt moved by God to focus on my study, connection and walk with Him, I have seen the differences...I can also walk into a grocery store and see a whining child stomping his/her feet because of the lack of discipline parents give, because of 'friendship' they want over personal responsibility. That is the value that produces Miley Cyrus's than Doctor Benjamin Carson. Learning to behave is a value, but a child has a pace to learn, and it's not at an adult level. It's why they become a distraction to both parents and those that surrounded them during church, especially the minister. And that's ignorance to say the least, in my point of view. God Bless.

Chester Jacobs

commented on Dec 26, 2013

A theater versus hearing the preached Word? Wow! If a baby cries, fine. The parent should escort the child to the proper location. The older kid acts silly, like kicking the pews excessively, fine. The parent should escort the child where they can successfully be dealt with. To exclude children, of a certain age, from hearing the Word of God preached is more of a disservice. I agree that some children, as well adults, can do things that are annoying and distracting. However, I firmly believe that the power of the Holy Spirit can still move despite the distractions. Yes, our society is a distracted society, but then again, distractions are everywhere. We don't treat our children like they are our friends either. If our children are out of line, the parents deal with their children accordingly. Another thing, if the children go off to Sunday School during the sermon, when do the adults go to Sunday School?

James Zimmerman

commented on Dec 26, 2013

While I would never ask the parent of a crying child to remove them from the service (I can't imagine that ever being received well), there's little else I agree with here. To say that if this distracts you as a speaker, that means you're a performer, not a preacher, comes across pretty judgmental to me. The fact is, we're all different. If it doesn't distract you, that's nice, but I don't see the need to judge someone else. Besides, as others have mentioned, whether the preacher is distracted or not, some of the congregation almost surely will be.

Alberto Rodriguez

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I agree with this; people are affected differently from each other. Some get distracted more by noise than others.

Ken Stuckey

commented on Dec 26, 2013

After 30 years of preaching I can attest to the fact that a crying baby is a no-win situation for a pastor. Make a deal out of it and you have alienated half of the congregation...don't and you have lost the other half. Truthfully it is up to the parent to take responsibility. It is the responsibility pastor to to bloom where he is planted.

Jabulani Ncube

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Thanks for the wisdom in this article. I agree that we should be able to function and worship in and around what we call distractions. It is not just crying babies but I have been to churches where there are some members that are mentally challenged and therefore we hear occasional loud noises and see body movements that the majority may not be used to. It would be uncomfortable to force all children and the disabled out of the sanctuary at sermon time in the name of removing distractions. I am 40 and have been in church all my life and personally do not ever recall a baby or someone being soo loud that I could not hear a sermon or ever experience a baby or anyone scream throughout the sermon. As one writer wrote, usually parents and guardians choose to take a walk out of the sanctuary to handle a situation that may seem like it would last the entire sermon. Occasional distractions are normal and we live with them at home and at work and we should be able to listen and worship in their midst. Performances are for the Symphony.

Andrea C. Paterson

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Have I gotten caught in this? Yes, I have. But, on the other hand, what about those with Alzheimer's Disease? Are they a 'distraction / disturbance OR are they 'Precious souls to be won for the Master?" I have learned to 'minister around them.' Sometimes the nursing staff 'take them out' which is even more distracting than their mumbling. DO WE KNOW WHAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ABLE TO DO IN MINISTERING TO THEIR SPIRITS? After all, the spirit is alive. Everything these dear ones ever knew is 'locked in their brains and, like a filing cabiniet that has a locked drawer' it is ALL in their. I believe that their spirits KNOW that is happening and who 'consider them a distraction or who loves and acvcepts them for who they are. We have NO right to consider babies, toddlers, disabled, alzheimer's people to be a distraction. THEY ARE PRECIOUS SOULS TO ALMIGHTY GOD WHO CREATED THEM. Let's learn a little compassion and love for each other. We ALL are God's children.

Terry Threadgill

commented on Dec 26, 2013

AMEN!!!! I have never been distracted by a crying baby, even though I admit I have sometimes been guilty of being a performer instead of a preacher. Have we considered the possibility that the baby may become the preacher? That in that moment, the baby may be the one we need to listen to? We just celebrated the birth of a baby I hope we have all listened to!

Danny Brightwell

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Most of the time, I don't hear the crying babies or whispering kids when I'm preaching. As a preacher that doesn't distract me. When I'm preaching a sermon that I've worked hard to prepare, and when I'm emphasizing certain points, I get totally distracted when I look up and see someone who is snoozing away - head leaned back over the pew, mouth open, in a sleep coma. I know it couldn't be my lesson (lol) - 98 seem very attentive. But that sleeping member almost makes me lose my train of thought every time. What about calling out the sleepers?

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I understand what you mean, but sometimes, even when we're very sleepy, we still go to church because we love to go to church. And there are times that it's so hard not to fall asleep, not because of the sermon but because we lack sleep during the week, either because of our job or because of our very demanding studies. We just hope you'd be gracious to us, sleep-deprived people.

Anonymous

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I disagree with the author of this article. We are people and people, especially in today's culture have limited attention spans. When I am preaching, with hours of prayer and study and interruptions happen, I loose track of my thoughts just like anyone does when interruptions happen. It's a fact of life that interruptions happen. However, when the Word of God is being preached, we only have 30 to 45 minutes to get that message across. It is rude to leave a baby or any other person continue to interrupt this precious time of sharing in the preaching of Truth.

Ralph M

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Amen!

Larry Stines

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Amen! What many fail to realize is that those children and their parents are the strength of the church. Be patient with them and teach them (the parents). I put myself in their shoes. If someone or some church cannot accept my children then they can't accept me!

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

That's how I would feel if I were the parents. However, I do believe that when a baby gets fussy and disruptive, the parents should voluntarily do something about it.

Fred Miller

commented on Dec 26, 2013

A great article that addresses a single issue in the sophisticated church culture I call Worship in America. I grew up in a 3rd world country where family and extended family were not only highly valued but vital. We didn't have cry rooms and nurseries, and children's church. A pastor might stop in his sermon and suggest someone provide a breast for the crying baby. Other than that brief distraction, people stayed focused on the worship service. I'm not suggesting we adapt all the aspects of a third world worship culture. I do, however, suggest a central reason churches struggle, and our children grow up and leave the church, is because our worship culture is focused on performance instead of nurturing. I contend a high percentage of people desperately needing to be loved and valued, leave church every Sunday unfulfilled by the "worship performance. Many church services in America today are often so scripted and power point oriented, the Holy Spirit can't get a word in edge wise! Maybe because I grew up third world I'm comfortable with interruptions in the flow of worship service events. In our church we've done away with power point almost completely. We have plenty of time for the people to share, talk, break out in spontaneous singing, pray for one another and be family. If a baby cries, that's OK we're family. If I have to shorten the sermon, I can, and that's OK too. People in our church are loved, valued, and cared about. They go out each week to love, value and care about the people in their world. We stay connected to each other all week encouraging, empowering, and enabling one another to be the hands and feet of Jesus. New people come to our church not for the performance but because they are loved, valued, and cared about... and their crying baby isn't going to disrupt the worship either.

Larry Stines

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Amen and Amen! Same at my church!

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I'd like to go to your church, Pastor! My pastor is like you. And our church is like your church. We don't mind crying babies, and the parents do get up when their babies become very uncomfortable and fussy, but because they decided to, not because somebody glared at them or the pastor asked them to do something about it.

Gerald Graham

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I have a hard time paying attention. Noise distracts me. I can not concentrate when I hear things. Especially when my own children, who sit up front, shuffle papers or make other noises. However, my mind immediately goes to the fact that I have a message that God wants his people to hear. Embarrassing them only makes them want to leave (I know I've been there before). So I press on and address what is necessary later. If in fact it is necessary. Most times it is not.

Dave Crandall

commented on Dec 26, 2013

This may be the most ridiculous article I've ever read! Quite frankly it's the poor parenting that has put us in this position in the first place. The message of Christ should never be in competition with anything, even a crying baby. A preacher should never have to 'call out a parent' because the parent has taken care of their duties, and cared for their child appropriately. I'm a pastors kid and pastor myself of 20 years. I remember growing up in church and there were babies and kids everywhere. My kids were in church, and whenever there was a problem, my wife would simply slip out. Growing up, if a baby or child ever got louder than a whisper the mom/dad would get up and take the child out. Their reason, we don't want to disrupt others in being able to hear the Word of God. I'm so tired of this idea that somehow a baby is adding to the service (another amen section...please) or getting anything from the service, that just goes in the face of common sense. And to the idea that if you cannot 'preach' over a baby then you are just a performer...where in the world did you get that from? Preaching is a gift, a discipline, and an art form all wrapped up into one, my job on Sundays is to communicate the truth of the God to the people of God in a way that is relevant, applicable, and practical. If I have to 'compete' with a significant distraction to keep or regain peoples attention how is that helpful? How does that honor the Word of God? How does that help people grow? .....Next weeks article "How people talking on their cell phones is beneficial to the service, and if you don't agree with me you're an Athiest"

Ralph M

commented on Dec 26, 2013

AMEN!

Ron Bradshaw

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Please lighten up and consider the entire situation. I, too, have been preaching for many years. Does a child sometimes become a distraction? Yes. Would I ever "call someone out" Definitely not! That is because I can think of dozens of places that young family could be on Sunday morning and thank God that they are doing their best to have their child reared within the body of Christ. I wonder if Christ might have said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me..." I just think all of us might continue to find better ways of combating distractions.

Carlis Clinton

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Amen. This article was way off base.

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I'm sorry but you remind me of the stern ministers in a church I used to attend. While I agree with many of the things you said, the way you say them lack grace and compassion. I have left that church many years ago because I couldn't feel love, just rigidity of rules.

Nelson Stokes

commented on Dec 27, 2013

Wow, what is your problem pastor I sense a great deal of anger hope no member rubs you the wrong way, "off with their heads"

Dearl Hardy

commented on Dec 28, 2013

I have to agree with your comment, This subject is maybe not approached correctly in this article. The way he addresses the subject is if you dont ignore crying babies then you are not preaching your just performing and that seems a little out of line for me to agree with. I believe it is the parents job to show respect to others within the church, and if their child get a little loud and distracts others then they should maybe walk them out for a minute and get them calmed down or something. My Mother would simply look at us and tell us to quiet down and we did out of respect...however that respect is missing in many families today. But to claim that if the crying child bothers the pastor then he is only a performer is way out of line. I have been in teh middle of a message and blocking out a child and suddenly I see every head in teh room looking at the child in frustration and the looks on their faces is what distracts me not the baby, because they are distracted from the message and wanting the mother to do something. Here is a suggestion for your church in those situations or at least it helped us. We cannot afford a room for crying babies at our church so I have a team of ladies that know if a baby gets out of hand in church and teh mother does not show any sign of walking outside for a moment, then one of our ladies will quietly offer to take the child out for a walk so the Mother can continue to listen to the message and give her a break from the crying. Most Mothers really appreciate it and our ladies just walk out with them and soon return to the Mother and everybody is happy. Just an idea.

Andrew Moffatt

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Good article! I prefer that parents of small babies sit at the back of the hall. The building we are in has a 'cry room' that frankly I don't like. It seems to point out that the service is not a place for children, this is wrong. I see that there has been some research that points out that children that grow up in the main body of the service are more likely to stay attached to 'church' when they grow up. Babies, people with loud disabilities and the man who threw the piece of illustration clay at me are all welcome where I preach. All to Jesus.

Andrew Moffatt

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Good article! I prefer that parents of small babies sit at the back of the hall. The building we are in has a 'cry room' that frankly I don't like. It seems to point out that the service is not a place for children, this is wrong. I see that there has been some research that points out that children that grow up in the main body of the service are more likely to stay attached to 'church' when they grow up. Babies, people with loud disabilities and the man who threw the piece of illustration clay at me are all welcome where I preach. All to Jesus.

Alexander Drysdale Lay Preacher Uca Australia

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Abraham Murray has it right. As Lay Preachers, we go, guided by the Holy Spirit, to lead a service of worship in a congregation not necessarily our own. We are not performers and if we think we are then we have a problem in our pride. I preach reasonably regularly in a church where one family attends and the baby does cry a lot. I keep going and perhaps even ad lib one part of my message to bring the baby into what I am saying. My memory does not allow me to remember a message so it is written out in full and I can adapt a section as necessary. Babies can be distractions for all of us but we have, both preachers and congregations to accept this and allow the Holy Spirit to work its way through us. A crying baby may not show the poor parental control that an obstreperous four or five year old can show and we have, particularly as Lay Preachers, to learn to cope with and exploit this situation for the benefit of Jesus and his kingdom.

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I agree. There are parents who choose not to come back to church because of other worshipers who don't hide their frustration over their crying babies. I know we have the right to hear the sermon, but if you were the parent and you get attitudes from others, you'd feel very uncomfortable and unwelcomed.

Christopher Holdsworth

commented on Dec 26, 2013

I was in a church once where we were told by the Minister that the main service was not an appropriate place for a baby, or young children, to be. I did not agree with that comment then, and I do not agree with it now!

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

My pastor said he'd rather have the parents come with their crying babies than not come at all.

Christopher Holdsworth

commented on Jan 1, 2014

This is not so much about our role in the Pulpit as the child's role in the congregation, and the role of the Word of God in their lives. Eventually they will learn to sit quietly, setting up a pattern for their lives. "Train up a child in the way he must go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."

David Raybern Rash

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Crying babies don't bother me when I'm preaching. However, Why are we ignoring the rights of all the other folks present to be able to hear the sermon. A crying, screaming child can stop the hearing of everyone in the building. What is so great and noble about preaching to one's self?

Victoria Barner

commented on Dec 26, 2013

That's why a church should have a nursery where parents with babies could stay and be able to listen to the sermon and watch what's going on even though their babies are crying.

Jim C

commented on Dec 26, 2013

Once again, clergy are held to an inhuman standard. Do to a pastor what you would not allow yourself, or your children, to do in any other venue. If he breaks, let him go home and castigate himself for being a performer, and failing his calling.

Isaac B

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I appreciate this article, but it should be noted that we are not all the same. I have seen those get distracted with things that I can forbear. They also deserve some understanding. The downside to the picture painted in the article is the calling out the parent with the crying baby. However, the distraction caused by the crying baby is not only disturbing for the preacher, it is also for the audience. How would all of them concentrate on the message while the crying continues. The solution here is a provision for nursing mothers. If such is not there everyone will hVe to cope. everything should be done decently and in order.

Robert Lee Tuttle Jr.

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I totally disagree with this article, it shows a total disrespect for the Word, the audience, and the time and preparation that goes into a sermon, we live in a culture that tries to accommodate everything and anything, how about a little old fashion propriety and reason, my mother had six kids, if one got fussy she would take them out being courteous to everyone else. "Let everything be done in order."

Argyl Dickson

commented on Dec 27, 2013

Wow! Jeremy struck a cord. I have visited churches where we have been banned from entering the main service because we had a child under age 5 that we wanted to keep with us. This child has been trained to sit and listen during a church service. I would never choose to go back to that church. The thing that kept running through my head as we sat in a separate room was how would Jesus have dealt with children? I have read the comments here comparing the church to a theater or other venues. The church is not a business. The church is not some public performance place. It is the gathering of the family of God. The very role of elder takes its cues in Timothy and Titus from the role of a father. The church should be a place where a family is free to worship together. It is hard to imagine the first century church meeting in homes and synagogs with no additional rooms treating parents the way that many of the reactions here suggest. Brothers don't forbid the children from being brought to sit at the feet of Jesus in a worship service for the family of God.

Tony Bland

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I was up to preach and i heard a child crying. So i said, if the baby that is crying stop you from hearing me please just get the tape... I need everybody helping me preach this message and the baby is my amen corner !!!!

Douglas Hallman

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I'm not sure which is worse; a crying baby or an adult who walks out mid way through the service to use the restroom. The baby cries, the adult walks for all to see and both put on a show. The Spirit of God can work in spite of both. Parents and restless adults should understand that Satan can use those distractions to thwart a decision that will have eternal consequences. Are reprimands in order? I know people who will never forget the preacher who put a distraction "out" yet they cannot remember a word of the sermon preached! Hmmmm.

Douglas Hallman

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I'm not sure which is worse; a crying baby or an adult who walks out mid way through the service to use the restroom. The baby cries, the adult walks for all to see and both put on a show. The Spirit of God can work in spite of both. Parents and restless adults should understand that Satan can use those distractions to thwart a decision that will have eternal consequences. Are reprimands in order? I know people who will never forget the preacher who put a distraction "out" yet they cannot remember a word of the sermon preached! Hmmmm.

Douglas Hallman

commented on Dec 27, 2013

I'm not sure which is worse; a crying baby or an adult who walks out mid way through the service to use the restroom. The baby cries, the adult walks for all to see and both put on a show. The Spirit of God can work in spite of both. Parents and restless adults should understand that Satan can use those distractions to thwart a decision that will have eternal consequences. Are reprimands in order? I know people who will never forget the preacher who put a distraction "out" yet they cannot remember a word of the sermon preached! Hmmmm.

Rev Jon Sharples

commented on Dec 28, 2013

I am in a church where there is a young man who comes along who has learning difficulties and constantly makes noises throughout the service. Sure, it's distracting to others: sometimes very. So, people, should I press on with my view that it is fine and part of being "family" in spite of the constant distraction?

Frank Gant

commented on Dec 28, 2013

Why do people come to church? Typically to worship God with others and to learn more about God and His Word. Can we correctly say that most people learn better when they are able to give their full attention to the subject at hand? If so, are not distractions hindering their learning of the Word? When I was studying for a test, I didn't want to be in a room with people talking, the TV blaring, or a baby crying because I could not concentrate. Isn't that the same for people in church?

Maurice Mccarthy

commented on Dec 28, 2013

I saw a video on youtube of a guy preaching on the love of God, a phone went off, he walked out with angriest look you could imagine, grabbed the phone and threw into the floor smashing it to pieces. Such love, such wonderous love...

Nolitha Nhlapo

commented on Dec 30, 2013

i am not condoning crying babies in church , but are we aware that there is a possibilty that tthe crying baby is its first time in church where there is singing noise and in other churches people who cannot sit down still because of what the preacher is saying at the time, all this movement would be something the baby is not familiar with as at home there is peace and tranquility. so let us accommodate the crying babies for a month the most and see if there wont be a diiference in their behaviour.

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