Picking up Katie from her class on Sunday, I noticed it again: ten glassy-eyed 3-year-olds comatose in front of a television on a roller cart, learning the gospel according to talking vegetables.
Today wasn’t the first time, nor was the church we visited the only one to succumb to this video default. Out of the three churches we’ve been to in St. Louis, two of them have chosen this babysitting option for the younger set.
During our numerous church-hunting phases in Colorado Springs, there were several who opted for this method as well. The church we went to before we went back to Village 7 (who amazingly didn’t do this) showed a different Veggie Tales video every Sunday for children’s church. It drove me crazy then. It still does.
What is it about children’s ministries today? Are teachers really so poorly trained that they honestly can not come up with a Bible lesson/activity for 90 minutes every week? Why do we, as the parents of the children, put up with it?
And on another note all together, why is it that the one thing that seems to unite all the various denominations that exist within Christianity (and even the various divisions of each denomination), and the plethora of different churches within each division of each denomination is Veggie Tales?
Was Phil Vischer the only creative Christian filling the void in the animated Bible story world?
Before anyone comes at me with the virtues of the vegetables, let me say exactly what my beef with this is. This is church we’re talking about here. It’s not a daycare, it’s not a preschool, it’s not your friend next door doing a kid swap for the afternoon to give you a break. It’s church. The place where we go to worship, and learn from the Word of God.
Yes, the nursery is a childcare situation, and one I’m thankful for so that for a couple of hours each week, I can have the privilege of undistracted worship. But part of what contributes to my not being distracted is believing my children are in a situation where they are safe, cared for well, and taught from the Bible.
And, no, watching an episode of Veggie Tales is not the same as hearing a story told from the Bible. I love the Veggie Tales. We have copies of all of them before Big Brother Media took over (the quality really went downhill after that, imho) and we watch them. But we never do so as a replacement for actual Bible teaching. Woe to the children who grow up thinking that the Canaanites really threw milkshakes over the wall on the heads of Joshua and Company.
Looks like we’ll continue onward in our St. Louis church-hunt, knowing that no perfect church exists, but knowing there has to be a better fit for us somewhere.
Sheesh, whatever did the early church do about childcare?