by Deb Ziegler
One of our most rewarding opportunities we have as parents is to introduce our children to God. As we attend worship together we get to witness first hand their discoveries as a follower of Jesus. I have read this book numerous times as I was raising my children and I continue to be challenged by the simple suggestions that help me and my children pay attention to God during worship. It starts with preparing the night before. Making worship a priority. Prepare for worship by packing your bags the night before. Keep Sunday morning simple. Play Jesus music as you prepare for church. Sit near the front of the church. Be a part of the action. Be less distracted by others. Have children stand and hold the hymnal. Point to the words as we sing songs. Let them squeeze your hand as a familiar word is sung.
Encourage them to sing the refrain. During the sermon point out main themes or the story part for them to follow. Leave toys and books behind and be present in the service. If they must draw, encourage them to draw part of the story being talked about. Make a card for someone mentioned during joys and concerns. Bring along a church directory so children can identify people being prayed for. Talk to children during the service to clarify, point out important points, and answer their questions. Enjoy worshipping beside your future brothers and sisters in Christ. Be present in the presence of God and let the children help you pay attention to worship. The book Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Cassleman, is available to check out of the church library.