Kids under 2 being barred from the big sanctuary? Read about it here, and let me know what you think. Is it a big deal? Is it not?
Here’s my promised edit with my view.
I agree that it can be distracting for parents to have their baby in the sanctuary with them. BUT, I think it should be their choice as to whether or not have them in there with them. Cry rooms are great, but not all church congregations have them (we don’t). I don’t think we should force people to go out. I can guarantee that that will turn some people away, especially those who don’t want their young babies in the nursery with strangers taking care of them.
As for others who find it distracting, my advice is to get over it. A little crying distraction never hurt anyone; as the community gets used to it, it’ll get easier to tolerate. Plus, mothers don’t leave crying babies in the sanctuary- they run out because they get nervous and embarrassed.
I think some good points were made in the comments below, both on blogger and facebook. Kids really do learn a lot through observation. During the years 0-3, the kids’ brains learn the fastest. They are little sponges, and are very interested in learning what adults do. Sure, it may not all be age-appropriate, and I think it’s nice for there to be options of a nursery where the kids are doing age-appropriate activities (singing songs, talking about stories, making crafts)….but, I think there needs to be times of observation as well. I’m not sure playing on a indoor playground is really investing in the children. Fun, sure, but …. ?