When you have a cute baby it’s not uncommon to have pew visitors throughout the service. I remember one service we must have had three different girls come and sit with us throughout the hour, hoping she would be calm enough for them to hold her for a few minutes. One girl will leave her mom and sister during the service to come and sit with me and play with my antsy toddler. She’s done it often enough that now I almost expect her to come sit with us and try to keep a spot open for her.
When I was in high school I remember going up to moms and offering to sit with the kids while she went to take Communion. Sometimes a couple families would sit together and tag-team worship parenting.
Why not adopt pew-grandparents or pew-siblings?
At first, I wasn’t sure how to handle these girls appearing in our pew. But aside from a few teaching moments on holding my baby or playing with my toddler, I realized I’m not really doing any extra parenting for these kids. In fact, they really just enjoy my daughter and want to hang out with her, and they genuinely want to help me. I’ve started to look at these pew-siblings more like little servants. Kids want to feel useful and helpful. So let’s let them be examples in the pew. Let them color with your toddler. Encourage them to show your little how to fold their hands. We all have little ways we can benefit each other.
Pew-grandparents can be just as handy. I’ve noticed the times these wonderful older Christians have helped me out the most as a mom are the times they’ve said an encouraging word to me after worship, or when they’ve paid specific and loving attention to my daughter. A few have turned in our direction when we’ve gotten a little louder (an excellent reason to sit in the front, by the way) and actually smiled instead of scowled. Some of these people either never had grandchildren or live far away from them. They miss their littles and love seeing yours on Sunday.
A good, healthy, working, thriving church is a family. It’s people who love and care for each other. It’s helping each other out and considering the needs of everyone. Those special people who show up in your pew need you just as much as you need them. So smile, scoot over and enjoy their company during worship!