Because today is Sunday, I thought the following list from Dr. Kimmel’s book, “Raising Kids for True Greatness” was an appropriate reminder for all of us as caretakers and for our children:
Ten Ways to Be a Great Church Member (For Your Kids):
1. Make a decision in your heart to love going to church. That’s all it takes. A decision. Once it’s made, you’ll love going to church.
2. Bring your Bible with you, and learn how to follow your teacher, pastor, or youth leaders as they teach you from it.
3. When you get up on Sunday morning, ask God to help you learn everything He wants you to learn at church that day.
4. Pray for your pastor, youth leaders, worship leaders, and Sunday school teachers at least once during the week. Ask God to bless them and encourage them in their efforts on behalf of the church.
5. Look out for the new kids, awkward kids, lonely kids, or outcast kids. Enfold them every time you are at a church gathering (whether formal or social).
6. If there is a discussion in class, participate in it. Don’t just sit back and be unresponsive.
7. Always love, encourage, and cooperate with the people who work with you at church (whether professional or volunteer). Voice appreciation for their efforts. Always thank the teacher for your lesson and the worship leaders for their efforts.
8. Refuse to speak disparagingly about anyone who works with you or for you at church. Never participate in a critical discussion about them with friends or a friend’s parents. If you have a problem with a leader, first take it to God in prayer and then go to the person individually and discuss it. Always rise above gossip.
9. Go to church with an attitude of what you can give to it rather than what you can get out of it. Go ready to help, to serve, to sing, to listen, to learn, to make new friends, to reach out to visitors, and to enjoy being with God’s people.
10. Make sure that you always use your time at church to connect more closely to the heart of God.
Because some of us have children that are too young to benefit from some of the items above yet, one thing I’ve found that helps my son love church is to tell him each Sunday morning:
“Today is my favorite day of the week! It’s Sunday, and we get to go to God’s house and worship today!” Then, I rattle off part of a song from one of Shaan’s children’s CD’s (“We’re going to God’s house today”):
“Wake up sleepyhead, open your eyes!
Birds are soaring through sunny skies!
It’s Sunday morning, let’s not delay
We’re going to God’s house today!”
The main thing I want Shaan to understand is that worship is fun and fulfilling. God designed us for worship, so naturally it should be something we look forward to (honestly, Sunday IS my absolute favorite day of the week – I always feel so refreshed and rejuvenated after worship!) What techniques have you used with your young ones to help them grow to love worship/church/fellowship?
Have a blessed Sunday – we’re about to get ready to go to God’s house!