You may be happy to head to church service on Sunday morning, but your children might not be. How do you change that? Here are some tips to help your kids develop excitement towards attending.
Familiarize Them with Scripture
Just as children look forward to reading their favorite parts of a book they know by heart, children are more likely to look forward to church service when they recognize names and scenes from scripture. There are many scenes in the Bible that children can enjoy learning about at home, but even just regularly spending scripture time with them will help them feel like they understand. And when you help your children understand, you can help spark your children’s interest in the readings discussed at church.
Lead by Example
Most children don’t wake up Sunday mornings bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to go to church service. But the one way you can show children the importance of attending church is to go to church even when you don’t feel like going.
There are plenty of excuses you may use to avoid going to church. There may be errands you need to do, or maybe you’re stressed from work or home obligations, or maybe you’re just tired and want to spend some extra time in bed. But it’s crucial you lead by example and prioritize heading to church. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33. When you make church a priority, you set an example for your children to follow about the importance of putting God first.
Use Your Words Wisely
Speaking of leading by example, you should also use your words wisely when speaking about church. No church is perfect, but rarely will casual negative chatter do any good, especially for our children’s perspective of church.
What’s going on at church, what we learn at service, and the church events we are excited about should be topics of conversation in your family. You should show, by your words, that you value church, and your kids will absorb it like a sponge.
Explain in Simple Terms
If you have smaller children, it can be hard for them to understand what’s going on – especially during church. Nobody likes partaking in something they don’t understand! So help your kids by explaining simply why certain things happen, so they can understand what is going on. For example, explain why you eat the bread and drink the wine. This will allow them to recognize what is happening during church service, helping them become more engaged.
Help Them Participate
When children have nothing to do, they will find things to do. They will poke their siblings, run up and down the pews, or squirm and complain. Show them church is fun when you participate. For little ones, teach them to sing when it’s time to sing and to fold their arms when it’s time to pray.
When you’re driving home from church, ask your children what they learned during service. Have them repeat the stories they learned. Being able to express what they heard at church will help them better understand what they’re learning. And you might be surprised by their insights as they hear these stories for the first time!
Have Reasonable Expectations
If you have young children, there will be days that even when you set yourself up for success, your kids still won’t sit still or have fun. When you attend church with young children, they’re learning a lot, including how to sit still in a pew. It can be a lot to take in, and with boundless energy, bursts of fidgeting can result. Have reasonable expectations for your child as they learn how to behave in service. To make service a more pleasant experience for your little one (and for you and those around you), bring a small toy or coloring book and crayons to keep your child quietly engrossed during worship.
Invest in Church Friendships
Having church friends has numerous benefits, but there’s one great one that should be pointed out here: church is so much more attractive to children when their friends are there! If you want your children to be excited about attending service, help them develop meaningful friendships. This may mean making new friends yourself, which is all the better.
Don’t just let your child’s friendships stay in service. Make the effort to have church friends come hang out at your house or meet up for some playdates. The effort will be worth the reward.
Come Visit Christ Lutheran Church
Are you in the Montrose, Colorado, area and looking for a church service to attend with your family? We warmly welcome you to plan a visit with us! We teach the Bible as God’s unchanging Word. Jesus’ salvation is the focus. His love and care for us guide our prayer lives. We would love to have you plan a visit or connect with us. God bless!