I hope the first part in the series wasn’t too off base for you. This part may not be what you’re expecting, either.
We, as adults, have an obligation for setting standards for our youth. At an age that is appropriate for the denomination, older youth should have ways to help the church, whether that is being part of the choir, an acolyte, an usher or whatever job is age appropriate. With proper adult guidance, these youth will become the active part of the church. Without them, the church is literally dying.
Kids are much more capable than we often give them credit for. Unless it is against the rules of a particular church, it is proper etiquette for adult church leaders to offer roles to youth. It is important to get parental approval first, though.
Adults, give the same respect to a child participating in a worship service as you would give another adult. If an acolyte is walking down the aisle, don’t cut them off to rush out, unless it is truly an emergency. There is a sacredness to each act, and if we want our youth to respect it, we should, too.
Adults and older youth – if you see a parent with his or her hands’ full, please open the door for them.
Adults – please do not touch young babies without the parent’s permission. If you are sick, wait until you are well.
Now we’re about to get into some grayer area.
As mentioned in a previous post, kids should be dressed respectfully. If they are not walking, though, there is no need for shoes other than parents’ choice. If an outfit is extremely uncomfortable for a child, please don’t dress them in it. It is unlikely they will be still, and they will probably try to escape out of it.
Parents, it is your responsibility to only take your children to worship services when they are well. Just like babies are susceptible to illnesses, the elderly are, as well.
I hope these two posts will help adults and children have more grace and respect for each other. Life isn’t a Pinterest board, and things will not be perfect all of the time. However, through etiquette, we can feel more comfortable in knowing what expectations are set for us.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thank you for reading!