That Kid – Dealing with Disobedient Children

Everyone has “that kid” in their children’s ministry. You know, the one who won’t sit still, never quits talking, and seems to thrive on punishment. A few weeks ago, I actually had to take “that kid” home before our ministry for that particular night even got started. He was over-the-top disobedient and my teachers were wanting me to ban him from coming back to church.

I was facing a dilemma because on one hand, I agreed with them. This kid was draining and took up more “man-hours” than any two kids combined. However, on the other hand, I knew this kid needed to be in church. He does not have a dad at home and his mom is a babe in Christ. Where else is he going to get the training and discipline he needs from men (especially men) and women who love him because Christ first loved us?

Ultimately, I did take the child home to his mom and explained to her that I was not able to put up with the disobedience given that on this particular night I was low on help! She understood and was apologetic. When I got back to the church, I talked with my teachers and explained to them that this is going to more and more common given the neighborhood in which our church is situated. They were understanding and even offered some other ideas of how to handle the situation in the future.

Since that night, this kid has been much less of a distraction though he is still quite disobedient. We are in the process of working through a discipline structure that is both biblical and practical. It is not like Matthew 18 applies in most cases because most of the children are not believers, anyway.

How Do You Handle Disobedient Kids At Church?

How would/do you handle situations like this? At what point do you say enough is enough and tell the child to not come back again? Can you ever really say that to a child? Where do you draw the line? We would love your insight into these matters. God bless.