New "worship experience center:" children not wanted
It seems that 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia will also be holding special services this Sunday. Formerly known as Crossroads Community, the church will have its “grand opening” of their “worship experience center” in two days. According to a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a high-tech, 2500-seat room has been specially designed to enhance the experience of those who show up.
To that end, congregants are encouraged not to bring children into the worship experience center, where the message and the medium are specifically for adults. Instead, parents may drop off their children in a venue to receive an age-appropriate message and activity.
The church’s chief financial officer, Norwood Davis explains the rationale this way:
A single mom can know her children will be cared for well…. She can relax and connect meaningfully with God, without having to worry about her children. We don’t want a 2-year-old to disrupt anyone’s experience.
Can a parent actually connect with God in a meaningful way if she abdicates the responsibility to train her children to worship the Lord appropriately? And while I am sympathetic to the concern that an unruly child not be allowed to disrupt a worship service, I rather believe that my understanding of what constitutes disruption would differ significantly from Mr. Davis’ view.
The sound of young children cooing and fidgeting should be like music to the ears of God’s people gathered for worship. There is certainly no indication that children were removed from the gathered worship of God’s people in the Bible. In fact, some of the New Testament letters specifically address children, suggesting that it was expected that they would be present when the letters where read (Ephesians 6:1-3, Colossians 3:20).
If a child becomes unruly during gathered worship, he can be removed and lovingly corrected by his father, or mother