Do you ever look over at your children during church service and see them completely disengaged? They are just doing their best to endure the torture we are supposedly putting them through. 🙂
My kids are good at sitting and being quiet but it is not the same as actually gaining anything from being there. It used to be that most times they weren’t even listening to a single word. I knew I needed to get my children engaged in church services.
My youngest is still in the nursery during services and if she has to come with us she can draw in a notebook. My twins are old enough to actually gain some knowledge from the readings and sermon if they were to open their ears and minds. Here is how I have been working to get the kids to actually listen a little.
3 Easy Ways to Get Children Engaged in Church:
- Read the readings from the Bible together before going to church. I find that if they have heard what is being read when they hear the same words their faces perk up like “Hey, we already read that” and they listen. I have this book that has all the readings for our Mass in liturgical order.
- Ask questions about that reading. Ask how do you think this could apply to our lives? Or what do you think the preacher will say about this passage? If they come up with their own scenarios they will be interested to see if they are correct.
- When we are singing I follow the words with my finger. This way when they possibly do look down at what I am doing they can catch a few words. My boys hate and I mean hate singing. They attend an arts based elementary school (we are zoned for it) and boy do I know when it is time for the few weeks of chorus. It is torture for them so I don’t force them to sing at church but it is good for them to read some of the words.
These 3 steps get them to be a little more familiar with what is going to be talked about in service. We all know that our ears perk up when someone talks about something we know. It is too bad there isn’t a way to go inside their heads and make them listen. As parents, we must use little tricks to naturally get their listening skills to wake up.
And of course always follow the one rule all parents figure out very quickly….
Don’t let the kids sit next to each other!
Ha!! Huge mistake I have made enough times that I should know better. 🙂
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Taylor Mobley says
What great tips!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
Michelle James says
I remember being a child in church and not wanting to pay attention either. I couldn’t wait for the donuts afterward. These are great tips!
Ahh..donuts after. Maybe I should use that as a bribe and ask them to tell me one thing they heard the priest say during the sermon and they then get a donut. 🙂
Terri Steffes says
Fantastic advice! Church was a big part of my life growing up. The organizations they had for kids were so fun as was church camp and special Sunday services just for us!
Sounds like an amazing church!
Great ideas for getting the kids more engaged. We always have to separate our boys when sitting through things like this.
Cynthia @craftoflaughter says
These are such great tips. Engaging them in the service is so important, thank you
Our church does Sunday school during the message at church, once they are older I’m not sure how it will go! I remember sitting and not paying attention when I was younger 🙂 Eventually I started taking notes and that helped me.
Taking notes is a good idea and wish people would do it in our church.
These are such great tips! I remember being a kid in church and never paying attention bc I never had any clue what was going on. Reading before chucrch is a wonderful way to get kids engaged.
Thanks. It has really helped a lot.
Amanda Love says
Getting your kids more involved is really great. It’s nice that you’re doing the best you can without pressuring your kids as well. I think these steps are great and they are perfect for toddlers or small kids!
Michelle @ Sunshine and Hurricanes.com says
These are fabulous tips and so great! My 4 kiddos are only in our worship service for about 20 minutes and then head to their own classes.
I think that would be a great solution too…wish our church did that.
Sheena Tatum says
I believe this is so important. Instead of rushing them off to another room, let them grow up learning. My mother did this with me and it helped me to be more advanced than many children in church.
I love this! I have a two year old son and we bring a few toys and books for him to play with quietly during the meetings. But, we always try to have the books be religious board books and he has started to make connections with them!
I do that with my 4 year old too. If she happens to not go to the nursery then I try and print off a religious coloring page.
Rachel G says
My Mom had a rule that we each had to be able to tell her something about what the pastor said during the sermon. Knowing that we had to be able to report to her on what was preached definitely helped us pay attention!
Awe…I remember following along with the music with my finger for my kids! They are both teenagers now but I think they need just as much, if not more help focusing! We always have a fill in the blank outline that goes along with the sermon on the back of our bulletin which helps a lot.
What a wonderful guide 🙂