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Home  >  Features  >  Youth Column: Sowing the Seeds of Faith


Youth Column: Sowing the Seeds of Faith

Wednesday January 8 2020

Amy Scott celebrates her congregation's role in bringing up her toddler.

There’s an African Proverb that says 'it takes a village to raise a child'. I disagree. I think it takes a church.

When babies are baptised in church the congregation promise to make church a place where children are welcomed, not just tolerated, and commit to pray for the family as they bring up their child. On Easter Sunday 2018, we were surrounded by our family and friends as our little boy was baptised. Since then we have been hugely blessed by our church family as, week by week, they show their commitment to honouring these promises.

Eighteen months on and church is one of Ruaridh’s favourite places to go. It isn’t the singing, the prayers or the sermon that he loves. He loves the people; the ladies that give him an extra biscuit, the men that roll toy cars under the chair to him, the crèche ladies that look after him while I am in the service and everyone else that smiles and chats to him – not just on a Sunday morning but when they meet him in the supermarket, café or wherever else he might be. They show Ruaridh who God is and how much he loves him. Church is a safe and welcoming place where he feels loved and cherished and, for me, that is the most important thing for him right now.  

I understand why taking a young child to church is daunting. I’ve been the mum that has rushed in the door at the last minute, I’ve been the mum with the baby that cries and squeals at the worst possible moment and I’ve been the mum that bribes their child with snacks and toys so they will stay quiet during the prayers. I’m currently the mum that’s toddler just won’t sit still. In the last two years I’ve come to realise that, actually, the person that is most concerned about any of these things is me. Ruaridh spends his time in church surrounded by adopted aunties and uncles, grannies and grandads that love to see him happy in church. It gives them hope that in forty years’ time there will still be people in church, worshipping and following Jesus.

On top of what they do for Ruaridh, I don’t think the realise that the impact that it has had on me as I started out as a new mum. On a Sunday morning, I am surrounded by mums, aunties and grannies that have been there and done that. They give a smile to let me know that, despite my concerns, I’m actually doing a good job. They give a word of encouragement that I didn’t know I needed to hear. Most importantly, they love my little boy. At a time when it would have been really easy for me to be taking a step back from church because it was just too much and too stressful, I find myself standing firmer in faith, taking on new roles and responsibilities and excited about what lies ahead for me, my family and , of course, my church.

Church congregations - don’t undervalue the influence you have on those families with their young children. Your warm smiles, words of encouragement and the love you show to those little boys and girls are exactly what encourage the parents to come to church. And families with young children- don’t forget the encouragement that you bring to other people in the church. You show them that our church has a future and gives them hope.

I will never be able to thank my church family enough for the love that they have shown to my family in the last two years. They are standing with us as we raise our little boy. Not judging. Not complaining. Just loving. Sowing the seeds of a faith that I hope will one day bear fruit.

So yes, some may say that it takes a village to raise a child; but let’s make our churches places where our children are welcomed, loved and raised in faith so that, one day, they can come to a faith of their own.

Amy Scott is an elder at Arbroath: St Andrew’s

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