Going to ChurchAs parents, our most critical responsibility is to introduce our children to Jesus, to His love, and to His offer of salvation. Part of this job is making going to church a positive experience for our children. How do we not only survive going to church with children but enjoy it as well? Christianity Today International offers a guide for parents in a Christian Parenting Series aimed to help parents develop their children's spiritual lives. The third article and study guide focus on "Making Church a Positive Experience for Kids."
Michelle Leise's article "Kids in Church" (Christianity Today International, 2006) offers these ideas for churches: be purposeful in showing children love and respect, create meaningful ways for children to serve others, encourage children to participate in church services. Children learn how to worship God by observing adults worshiping. Churches can welcome, embrace, and rejoice with children.
The author also offers ideas to moms and dads sitting in church with children of all ages: bring special "worship bags" that are filled with age-appropriate activities and are only used in church, talk about church positively through the week, encourage young children to play "pretend church" at home where they act out the roles of pastor or choir director. Deb Bradley offers this idea: ask your child to keep someone who is unable to attend the church service up to date on what happened in church and what the message was. Finally, make going to church a fun, pleasant experienceas you prepare to go to church, is your attitude one of joy?
If you would like more information on Christianity Today's Christian Parenting Series, visit their website at www.ChristianBibleStudies.com.