Sunday morning can be a hectic time – depending on what time your family heads off for church. But the biggest impact is how we prepare for Church. Preparation needs to start the day before. Here are some of the practical things we’ve done over the years that helped making going to church with little kids a little bit easier:
1–Get clothes ready on Saturday: this means clothes need to be chosen, and ironed. Shoes need to be found (how they get lost one week to the next I don’t know!) and bags need to be ready. My goal is for each of the children to be responsible for their own clothes so this is a part of their Saturday chore list.
2–Have the house clean: We used to clean house on Monday – I thought this was necessary, to clean up after a day of rest. But now we clean up in preparation for Sunday on Saturday, and all we do on Monday is put a few extra things away.
3–Get bags ready: When we had little children, this meant getting a nappy bag all-but ready (just needed to add bottles/food). As the kids grew older they transitioned into taking their own backpack with their Bible, a few books, paper, pencils, hat and water bottle. Sometimes church is a good time to return items to our friends, so we have everything ready to go on Saturday.
4—Plan/Prepare our Food: Sunday is a very relational day for us, and that happens mostly around our table. Pete cooks breakfast, we have a very simple lunch (mostly leftovers or wraps), and dinner is often soup. If I can I like to have most of the cooking done and ready in the fridge, but that doesn’t always happen, but I at least keep the menu simple.
5– Check Church rosters so we have no Sunday morning surprises.
6–Get a good night’s sleep. Unfortunately a lot of social commitments are on Saturday night, and though we didn’t stay home all the time, we did make it a policy not to stretch the kids too much on Saturday night. We give this same advice to our teens – they have to be able to focus and give to others on Sunday, regardless of what they do on Saturday this helps them be responsible with their bedtimes.
7–Learn the songs that your church sings so the kids can join in. If your church is small enough you may be able to find out at least one song that is going to be sung, and learn that together as a family.
8–Read the selected Bible reading/passage together as a family, discuss it so that the concepts in it aren’t new to the kids when they hear it in church (that is, if it is available earlier than Sunday morning) Over the years different pastors do different things, so it is worthwhile a chat to see how they can help you help your kids stay focused during the sermon.
9—Help your children to take notes during the sermon: Encourage your children to ‘take notes’ while listening – they can either draw a picture reflecting the Bible passage, or write down a few words or thoughts. You can practice this with family devotions at home. One of our pastors provided a sermon outline particularly for the kids to follow along – that was helpful.
10–Get your kids to think about blessing others: We would have our children consciously think of one person they can show love to that day – initially this started with friends, and then kids they were having trouble relating to, but eventually they started to include all people at church – regardless of age.
Sunday: it can be a day of rest, or it can be a day of stress. These ideas have helped us at different stages of our family life to help Sunday be a true day of rest, even though we may be ‘busy’ with people.
Over to you:
What have you done to help your family to go to church? Please add to my list by making a comment below.
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