Kids & Church :: an introduction

kids-and-church-introKids & church :: an introduction ::

This series has been on my heart for a long time and I have been putting off doing it because of the enormity of it.

This is a five part series I have already completed the entirety of it but have broken down into bite size pieces for clarity, and a new part will be posted each Friday over the next five weeks. 

Here is a look at what will be coming:

Part 1 :: Helping them to Succeed

Part 2 :: Listening to the Speaker {pastor}

Part 3 :: Treasure Hunting

Part 4 :: The Bible Bag

Part 5 :: Giving Them Pegs to Build on

I have put this together rather reluctantly – these are ideas I have gathered and adjusted to suit our families needs and mission. What works for us won’t look the same in another family and this is only meant to encourage parents in their journey towards raising their own children in the Lord.

This isn’t about how to get your kids to sit quietly through church meetings – this is about working on engaging their minds through those church meetings; helping them to understand what is happening, how to discipline their minds to listen and comprehend,  how to compare what they are hearing to God’s word, and to think about it beyond when the sermon ends.

We started this journey with our boys when they turned 4. Our church has nursery for kids through age 4 and for the first 4 years of our older boy’s life my husband was out of town every weekend with work. Taking the boys to church on my own each week was hard work and I really appreciated being able to leave them with whichever wonderful ladies were doing nursery duty each week. I know a lot of people start way younger than 4, and others are much older before they need to sit through a church service. Every family is unique.

When our oldest started to sit with us upon his fourth birthday in 2011 we expected him to sit quietly. We would give him a piece of gum and if he was noisy we would ask him to spit out the gum and he would lose that exciting privilege of chewing. Really – when you’re expected to sit still for nearly an hour chewing is pretty thrilling.

In addition to sitting quietly we encouraged him to approach the speaker after the meeting and either ask a question or tell the speaker something he heard in the sermon that he already knew (like a Bible verse or story referenced). If it was a visiting speaker he did not know he was also to introduce himself (we went with him if he asked us to.)

Since our second son joined us in the meetings in the summer of 2012 and we were fighting for the attention of two very different personalities there have been tweaks made to how we make this work on Sunday mornings when the boys sit through meetings with us – but the essence of it remains that which I just laid out; they are expected to sit still and they are expected to extract a thought from the message and talk to the speaker after the meeting.

We have found that teaching them how to do these things has been very rewarding; they are learning the art of listening to God’s word and His truths being spoken and by listening they are engaged and learning more about Him. It’s not perfect, and it never will be. But this approach has happily been working for us for about two and a half years now and so I thought I would share in the hopes of encouraging others.

Next Friday part 1 will talk about helping them do well at sitting through a church meeting.

 

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Jessica Lynette

8 Comments

  1. I’m excited for this series! We are expecting baby Landis in October, so though it’s early I’m looking forward to reading your experiences / ideas.

      • Thanks Jess! We haven’t been too public on facebook about it yet, so unless we’ve seen someone they probably don’t know. 🙂

  2. My boys are 5 and 1, the 5 year old sits in service with us and is very much not engaged in the sermon. Thank you for sharing on this issue, I am so ready to read what you have to say! 🙂

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