There are folks who complain about the noise children make in worship.
But is sending the children out of the sanctuary the answer? It quiets things down, perhaps. But it also keeps children from learning how to worship, and excludes them from the gathering of the whole people of God.
Grace Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Minnesota, came upon a counter-intuitive approach. They pulled out some pews in the front of the sanctuary and replaced them with blankets and toys. They built a "pray-ground" that keeps children engaged and present during worship.
Contrary to some fears, the noise level of restless children actually subsided after the pray-ground was installed. One year later, those who initially opposed the pray-ground are now its biggest supporters, one pastor said.
Now if no children are present on a given Sunday, adults mention how they miss the presence of the children.
Children are invited into leadership roles in worship as well.
Sometimes, the ideas that push us into the unknown can lead us into our preferred future!
Read about Grace Church's experience with its "pray-ground."