A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post about some of my positive experiences at a small church. At the encouragement of a colleague, I reworked and edited the blog post, and it was published today in Leadership Journal online. (You can read the final version here.)
I was reminded of the benefits of a small church again this past Sunday, when T joined us in the service for the first time in a while (he's outgrowing the toys in the nursery but is still a bit young for the preschool class). I had once attended my mom's small church during college, and I was struck by how noisy it was--I found it a nuisance, mainly because I was used to the hallowed silence of churches where children are neither seen nor heard. And I was a selfish college student.
This Sunday, T contributed to the noise in the sanctuary, clapping after every song and quietly chatting to himself through most of the service while (mercifully) sitting on my lap or Abby's. At the end of the service, several people said, "He did so well in service today" and commented that they liked his clapping. We did not receive a single glare for keeping him with us, and I believe the comments were genuine. Whether these people are just more patient than I was or childish chatter is more forgivable when you know the source, I was so grateful.