I’m excited to share some practical tools with you on how to worship with your children. I am so encouraged when I watch families come into the sanctuary on Sunday morning ready to worship! I have observed and helped families worship together and I understand that it can be tiring, challenging, and a time where worship for you looks completely different. BUT I want to encourage you that this is the BEST thing you can do for your children.
As I was preparing and brainstorming for this article, I realized it is similar to what I did as a teacher. At the beginning of the year I had to TRAIN my first graders how to be students. You as parents are TRAINING your children how to become worshipers! We don’t become worshipers over night!
Prayer is the first tool that you need to worship as a family. We can train our children, but God is the one who will create in them the heart to worship our Holy God. Start praying now for your child’s heart to worship the Lord and to understand what corporate worship is.
Let’s walk through some tools that can help you train your children to be worshipers. To help you with these tools I have organized them in a week format. We will start with Monday and work our way up to Sunday.
During the Week
- Family worship – if you are having family worship at home your children are already practicing how to worship as a church. They are sitting with you as you read the Bible, pray, and sing. This really helps our children to know how to sit during corporate worship. (If you have a little one that you think will have a hard time sitting, start practicing. Have them practice sitting with a book, notebook or coloring book, extend the time over a few weeks)
- Read the Passage for the week ahead – discuss the meaning of the passage and allow your kids to ask questions.
- Pray for your children’s heart and yours to be ready to worship the Lord on Sunday
- Talk about Sunday morning and the worship service during the week. This will help your children understand what to expect during the morning.
- Review the order of service – walk through with your children what will happen on Sunday morning.
- Talk about expectations during the service and encourage your children to be participants during the service.
- Discuss behavior that is expected – Don’t fear what others will think if you have to take your child out of the service. Remember children rise to the standards that we set. Talk with them about how to stand when we sing, follow along when we read, take notes (read a book, color picture) when pastor is preaching. We want to train them to engage with the sermon not just tune out when the preacher comes on the stage.
- Be prepared – Lay out clothes, shoes, Bible bags
- Model excitement for the Lord’s Day – remember your children are watching. If you are reluctant about going to church, they will also be reluctant to go.
- Model excitement for the Lord’s Day – wake up early and prepare your heart for worship and training your child to become worshipers
- Keep breakfast simple so you can leave the house with time to spare
- Remind your children of expectations of their behavior during the church service
- Prayer – pray before for your children’s hearts, pray as a family for congregation, pastor, worship leader, and your family.
- Be a role model – positive attitude, enthusiasm, heart of worship – remember they are watching you and learning how to worship from your behaviors on Sunday morning. Are you taking notes? Are you truly worshiping the Lord?
- Encourage your child – during transition times remind your children how well they are doing, what was one thing that you loved about that moment of the morning, asking them to help you to remember to pray for someone who is sick.
- Sit in a spot that is close to an exit
- Enlist support from other members
- Remind them of tools to use during the sermon
- Talk about the service
- Ask about Highlights or Questions
- Encourage Good Behavior