July 18, 2006

Church and the Childfree

It seems most churches are geared towards families - parents and children. There are some with good singles ministries, but I haven't come across any that are geared towards the married without children, unless they are newly married and haven't had any kids yet.

Children's ministries abound at most churches. AWANA is a ministry where children gather weekly to play games, do crafts and recite memorized Scripture verses. Most churches have a yearly Vacation Bible School with a theme to attract kids.

For all these children's ministries, the church needs adults and teens to run them. But what if you don't enjoy working with children or don't have a talent in that area? In my experience, churches tend to focus on making sure their children's ministries are run and they scramble for volunteers wherever they can find them. If you're not good about telling people no, you may find yourself involved without really meaning to.

I think it's good to have children's ministries in a church. But I think the focus is skewed. The childfree often feel like outcasts in their local church, especially if they don't enjoy working with children. My gifts lie in the realm of drama and interpretive dance. Yet I don't have much opportunity to use these gifts in a church that has multiple children's activities and is focused on running them.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Twiga -- "drama and interpretive dance" who knew?! Wow, I would like to hear more about this. I was a dancer too. I wish those mediums tranlsated better into blogging!

You know, sometimes the most lonely I have ever felt is when I am standing in a room full of people. I got a similar feeling when my husband and I were driving home from our fishing trip this weekend. As we passed through small rural towns, I felt a longing to belong to something, some place.

At age 40 (turning +1 this month), I am getting used to feeling outside the norm, marginalized as a childfree adult. I don't belong in church any more than I belong at the local dance school. I have resolved not to be silent, unhappy nor apologetic about it any more.