Disciple Your Kids on Sunday Morning
We want children to come to God freely and not be hindered by having an unfounded fear of how to worship, and to learn that church is about worshiping Jesus, not about their perfect behavior.
What would you do if your children followed you everywhere for a day? How would you talk, act, or think differently? Should you look and sound differently just because your kids are with you? These are great questions for you to think about and discuss with your spouse and Community Group, but let me ask it from a different perspective: What do your children see when they watch you?
The familiar text of Deuteronomy 6 teaches us about God, about ourselves, and about teaching our kids to follow God. As we raise our children to be disciples of Jesus, we must also be his disciples, growing in love for God daily. We teach our kids what we are always learning: the grace that rescued us from sin and gave us a relationship with God has the same power to rescue and redeem our children.
Kids notice everything. They watch as the gospel takes root more deeply in our own hearts, and they see when our words and actions don’t line up. We’re the primary role models for our children, so God’s word must be on our hearts as parents before we can teach them to our children. What are our kids learning to do by watching our lives?
For the next few weeks, you will get to model to your elementary children how you worship God on Sunday morning. As a church, we set aside the month of June each year to encourage elementary-aged children to worship with their parents in corporate worship. This allows you as a parent to understand what Paul means in 1 Corinthians 11:1 when he says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” As you sing, listen, and respond to God’s word, you set an example for your children to mimic.
If your first thought is, "My kids cannot sit still and be quiet through a whole sermon," don’t worry — you are not alone. Our hope is that this month helps your children understand worship and bond with you as you worship together. Be mindful of how you demonstrate what worshiping God looks like. We want children to come to God freely and not be hindered by having an unfounded fear of how to worship, and to learn that church is about worshiping Jesus, not about their perfect behavior.
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions to help your family get the most out of this month:
1. Pray FOR your child. Pray for their heart to hear the word of God and to respond to the Spirit, and pray for their body to be still and quiet. These are great things to pray for!
2. Pray WITH your child. Our prayers don’t need to be vastly different here. Don't ask God one thing with your heart and then another thing while your children are listening. Remember, the ultimate goal of parenting is to show our children that we cannot do it ourselves, but that Christ can help us do the impossible!
3. Talk about what it will be like. Give your child things to look forward to and set their expectations. Focus on the positives of corporate worship: less “you have to be still and quiet” and more “you get to be with us and see what songs we sing and hear the pastor speak.” Children may be fascinated to be a part of this, and your excitement can help them be excited, too.
4. During the service, let your kids be active. No, I’m not encouraging jumping jacks here. Each week, Providence Kids will have resources that your child can do during service--coloring pages, Bible story-themed puzzles, and writing in a journal--which are great things your child can do while still sitting and listening to the preaching.
5. Discuss the service in depth afterward. Think about questions that your child can tangibly answer. A few questions you can use as a starting point are:
- Have you heard those songs before?
- Which was your favorite song?
- What does that song teach us about God?
- Have you heard the verses Afshin talked about?
- What was your favorite part?
- What questions do you have about the preaching?
We are praying with you for your kids’ hearts, especially as they worship with you for the next few weeks. We encourage you to use this month to deepen your time worshiping God as a family and to allow God’s word to affect your home in new ways (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). If you have any questions or need any assistance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.