How to Help Shape Your Kids’ Church Experience
Praise the LORD! Blessed is the [wo]man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments! His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. - Psalm 112:1,2.
You are the most important person in your child’s life. You, as the parent are the one that gives your child the first and most lasting impression of who God is and what God is like. Don’t freak out. Let it warm your heart and cause you to sit taller.
But it’s not all you. We parents need help. We need a community to support our faithful efforts. We want our kids to have a positive church experience.
Here are 4 ways to help shape your child’s church experience.
1. Take Your Children to Church. Don’t drop them off. Take them. Find a church where there are other children if at all possible. Take them to worship with you. If your kids are in the service with you, even better! The book that helped us when my boys were young was Robbie Castleman’s, Parenting in the Pew.
Here’s her updated edition: Parenting in the Pew
2. Help Them Get Plugged In. Let those little gems gather, have fun and grow together! Make space for them to go to some kind of Christian kids gathering (AWANA, kids clubs, VBS, Sunday School, Kids Church, whatever).
Don’t overdo it, but get them to something on Sabbath and during the week. You want your kids to grow up having a positive community experience. (NOT an issue-free experience, of course. NOT possible.)
3. Avoid Silos. Let your child have some independence in the church community, but stay involved. Don’t be overbearing. Discuss what they’re learning in the car ride home or over lunch. Ask questions like, “Oh, tell me what that was all about,” or “I love this picture! What story does that come from?” Then, “Let me tell you how I felt in the church when we sang…” or “I got so excited when I saw…” Back and forth it goes to break down those silos!
4. Get to Bed. Seriously. You’re getting up (depending on what time you go to worship) to join a rich tradition of worshiping with the people of God. Moreover, you’re helping your child have a positive experience. Even more, you’re invited to a royal engagement to meet with GOD! Don’t set your child up for failure by not getting a healthy sleep.
5. Be in Charge. What is it today about parents giving their kids so much power? It’s terrible for them and you. As parents, you get to choose the boundaries. Or maybe they just get to make decisions about things that aren’t the priority, because let’s be honest, do you let them opt out of school? “Mom, I don’t want to go to school. Like ever!” Of course you don’t. Education’s a priority. Help them understand that meeting with the people of God to worship Him is as well.
Now, if it’s not, ask yourself “Why? Why is this not a priority for me or our family?" I’ll pick that up next week.
I’m real because God is so real.