Last week I discussed the importance of family time and how often the church segregates the family by age.
Today I am going to delve into why we have decided to keep our children with us during the worship service each week. You might wonder why I would even want to do such a thing! Most weeks it’s a lot of work and some of those Sundays I find myself asking the same thing. I’m confident that it’s the best thing for my family. My children can learn Bible knowledge and memorize scripture anytime, but there are so many things they can only learn and experience from this hour on a Sunday.
Why I Keep My Children in the Church Service With Me:
- We can worship as a family and teach our children how to worship.
- Children can observe the offering plate being passed and even place their own money in it.
- They can participate in singing and praying and watch the adults around them do the same thing.
- As communion and baptism happen children ask questions and you can have great discussions (even a 2 1/2 year old wonders what is going on).
- To learn from the sermon. You’d be surprised what little tidbits a 2 1/2 year old can pick up and remember. My daughter can hear something once and repeat it weeks later.
- The children learn to sit. (This comes in handy for concerts and weddings as well.) They don’t need to be constantly entertained and catered to.
I’m still right in the midst of figuring out the best way to get a toddler to sit through church but I’ll share some things that have worked for me so far. Even if your children don’t sit in church with you on a regular basis, hopefully you’ll get some ideas for the occasions they do.
Hints To Help Your Child Sit Through Church:
- Have them participate as much as possible. Stand when everyone stands, sit when everyone sits. Teach them to bow their heads and close their eyes (my daughter likes to make sure that I’m doing this too).
- They can place money in the offering plate.
- Pack some quiet activities. (We like some of these Lari Toys.)
- Have a pad of paper and writing utensil (or a mini magnadoodle). They can scribble or copy you taking notes.
- A picture Bible is great for little ones to look at during the sermon. (We are using The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name)
- Bring out a quiet snack for later in the service if your child has been well behaved.
- Be willing to leave. I’ve had to go and sit outside or in the foyer when my child got too loud. However, she still had to sit. I didn’t reward unruly behavior by allowing her to run around and play. (That would only make it harder to get her to behave the following week.) One week we went and buckled in the car and waited for church to get out.
Some Sundays are harder than others but I feel the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and will tell you from experience it gets better! We went through some rough Sundays when we were adjusting to little brother but are now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and have actually sat through church 3 Sundays in a row. Hooray for progress!
Come back Thursday to read some ways you can be a blessing to those with kids in church with them!
Do you have your children with you on Sundays?
What suggestions do you have for getting a child to sit quietly for over an hour?