Did you see last week’s link to Christine Jensen’s Growing faith: Ten tips for going to church with your family? It’s such an excellent little post, it sparked a few reflections of my own. (I’d also like to second her point about letting kids see you enjoying church.)
Here they are,
five six more tips for going to church with your family.
1. Choose a church where people love and pray for your kids.
This is more important than big Sunday Schools and fancy youth groups! Go to a place where people welcome your children into the church family; where adults make time to talk with children; where your kids will have big brothers and sisters in the faith. (But don’t just choose a church because it serves you and your family: choose a place your family can serve.)
2. Ask trusted older Christians to mentor your kids.
Ask a young woman to meet with your daughter, or a young man to mentor your son. Involve young adults in teaching Sunday School: it’s great training for them, and kids love it. Encourage children to grow strong relationships with the elderly. Make a single friend part of your family, and invite them to be a special person in your kids’ lives.
3. Get your kids involved in serving others.
We’re at church to serve. Our kids are too.1 Involve them in welcoming people at the door and teaching younger kids in Sunday School. Cook meals together for someone who’s sick. Take your kids with you when you visit those in need. Teach teenagers how to follow up a new Christian and lead a Bible study.
4. Encourage kids to invite friends to church.
We’re also at church – and in this world! – to share our faith. This is no different for kids. Encourage children to ask their friends to church: not just to kids’ club, holiday programs or youth group, but also to Sunday meetings. This is a great way to make church fun for kids too.
5. Invite church people into your home.
Ask people over for a meal. Host a Bible study. Involve kids in setting up and serving, and don’t make them sit at a separate table. Let them stay up and hang out with the grown-ups for a while. Invite children and teens into your conversations. This helps kids get to know people from church and feel comfortable with them.
6. Oh, and let your kids doodle through the sermon if it helps them concentrate.
Seriously. You might be surprised one day when the doodles turn into sermon notes.
Do you have any other suggestions for going to church with your family?