I wrote this post over a year ago and am just now getting around to posting it. HAHAHA. That is the story of my life. But it seems fitting as we have been going through the importance of worship in church. It’s been so encouraging to be reminded why we are there. And it’s so important for our littles to learn too.
As my husband and I have set out to set the Lord’s Day apart from the rest of the week, we work hard to be prepared for it and enjoy it. Our whole week is around Sunday and we like it that way. I always forget how much my mind and week revolves around Sunday until we have to miss church fellowship for one reason or another (like being sick for the LAST 3 WEEKS!!!).
For as much of Sunday worship takes place in our hearts, there is a whole lot of preparation that goes into just getting us in the doors and ready to worship together as a corporate body. Because of how important Sunday fellowship is, I wanted to share some practical things that have helped me not only get my kids to the physical location but also have helped us teach our kids how to worship the Lord in the service with us, even if that is just sitting still for 5 minutes.
Most of our physical preparation for getting everyone ready starts Saturday. I lay everyone’s outfits out for the next day, while the kids are taking their Saturday night bath. This bath time routine is longer than baths on the other nights of the week. We paint toes in the summer, clip nails, and clean ears. They know even the bath before Sunday is different from the rest of the week. The goal is that at a very young age our kids will know Sunday worship is special and different than the rest of the week.
We also put the kids to bed earlier than usual so they are well rested for the next day. We also prepare the kids for the actual service, by always have fun snacks for them. Gum is also a good weapon to put in the arsenal. We had to do some practice runs at home to teach them not to swallow it, but now it’s a great tool!
I also try to have some new stickers and fun coloring things in our little church backpack to help them keep their little hands busy. I rotate a few cars and plastic animals in there. I try to keep these toys separate from the rest so they are special toys and will hold their attention longer. I’m always on the look out for fun, new, quiet things to add to his backpack. Most of the time for holidays, they get things with Worship service in mind – stocking, Easter basket, birthday, etc.
Now, how do we get them to sit there, quietly, for the whole 1.5 hour service? Practice, practice, practice. We start them right out of the womb. :) They stay in the service as long as possible. Job was a chatty little baby so we had to use the nursery more for him. We would try to keep him until offering. And then we worked our way to the sermon. Then 5 minutes of the sermon. Then 15, 20, 30 minutes of the sermon, until he reached the whole service duration.
I tell you all this to encourage you! It’s a process. It takes time and practice. It doesn’t just happen over night, but it sure pays off. We love having our kids “singing” next to us. Saying “amen” when the prayer is over. And listening to God’s Word being preached. We love them watching us partake in communion, kneeling at confession, and giving of the offering. We love that they are participating with us, even in small ways. We want church to be a place they love. Keep working at it parents. It’s so worth the work.