Millions of children in the United States grow up in a household that identifies with a denomination of Christianity. Southern Baptist is a popular Christian denomination in the southern US, and many families immerse their children in it from a young age. I was one such child in the early 2000s, and my church experience as a kid was pretty awesome! I got to do all sorts exciting things with my church community while building my faith and serving others. It was a blast! If these references ring a bell, you might have been an SBC kid!
1. The pastor said the baptistry was "holy water," and it blew your mind how magical water was just casually in the sanctuary.
You secretly hoped one day the water might do something crazy like splash gold dust over everyone.
2. "VeggieTales" was a lifestyle.
For those who may not have grown up with this show, it's basically Bible stories being portrayed by vegetables, complete with boisterously loud songs and moral takeaways. You knew it was gonna be a good Sunday School class when the teacher rolled in the tv on wheels with the "Dave And The Giant Pickle" VHS tape. As we all know, "there's nevereverevereverever been a show like 'VeggieTales'!"
3. The line "shepherd of the sheep" in the closing benediction was always said by the pastor as one word, "shepherduvthuhsheep."
If your pastor had a thick Southern accent, the word-blending issue was much more prominent.
4. Your parents gave you money to put in the offering plate, but you were still super proud of yourself about it.
I get that there are no financially independent 6-year-olds, but still...
5. There was no escaping the endless hugs and handshakes at church.
This was especially true at youth group meetings, where no one knew how to hug in the first place but tried desperately to act normal about it.
6. You can sing every verse to every hymn in the Baptist Hymnal.
"How Great Thou Art" and "Blessed Assurance" were the go-tos, but your repertoire also consists of lesser known classics such as "Ancient Words" and "Majesty." You're basically a walking "Top 100 Hymns" Spotify playlist.
7. Bible drills brought out the worst in you.
Even if you didn't have a competitive personality, you would rather hear "Onward Christian Soldiers" on repeat for the rest of your life than let your opponent find that Scripture first.
8. If it involved your church, there was almost always food.
And there were always unspoken rules about blessing said food. For instance, you never had to bless breakfast, it was optional to bless lunch, but dinner and all meals eaten in a public restaurant MUST be blessed. Why? No one knows.
9. Getting your church outfit approved by one or both parents was mandatory.
As you got older, this was for purposes of modesty but as a child, this rule was all about mom getting the biggest bow on planet earth in your hair.
10. They told you the purple stuff in the communion cup was grape juice, but you were always low-key scared they were lying.
"What if this is wine?! I can't be a drunk kid in church!"
Most Christian kids have some funny misconceptions about the way that God, Scripture, and church all works together. But, in the end, adult Christians should learn to be like these children. Wide-eyed and constantly inquisitive about our Father and everything He says about us.
"He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: 'Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'" — Matt. 18:2-4