The foundational parenting text is not Ephesians 6:1-4 or Deuteronomy 6:4-9, as important as they are. Rather it is Matthew 28:18-20.
In other words, as Christian parents, your primary goal is not simply to parent your children, but to disciple your children to love and obey Jesus. Of course, discipleship takes place along the way through all of life, but according to Ephesians, one of the most significant means of discipleship for the family is the local church (see Ephesians 3:8-6:4). Realize that when the church gathers together each week, it is a wonderful time for our children to not only hear the Gospel, but also to see how the Gospel changes lives, impacts a diversity of relationships, moves us to joyful worship, motivates us to love and serve others, and leads us to submit to the Word.When the church gathers each week, it is a wonderful time for children to not only hear the Gospel, but also see how the Gospel changes lives, impacts a diversity of relationships, moves us to joyful worship, and motivates us to serve others. Click To Tweet
For any parent, the challenge is to help your children actually see the importance of what is happening when the church assembles. With that in mind, we’ve developed a tool to assist parents in helping their children to understand and embrace the significance of the church gathering each week. These worksheets will be available for each service at the Hospitality Center. Parents, help your children utilize them and then follow-up with the child regarding what they are coming away with from week to week.
- “I got to meet and talk to …”
Because church is not an event we attend, but a people to whom we belong, help the children learn to interact with the other people of the church. Help them meet a variety of people and ages, find out interesting facts, and learn of different prayer needs. (Hebrews 10:23-25)
- “My favorite song we sang was …”
A means of the Word of Christ dwelling richly in a congregation is through singing! So help the children think through what the songs mean. A great way to do that is to find out which ones and why the children like to sing them. (Colossians 3:16)
- “Today’s Scripture reading was …”
It is important that children understand that reading the Bible as a church isn’t just something we do in the “order of service”, but so that we, as His people, know what God says. If we don’t know what God says, we as humans will tend to follow our own hearts. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
- “Can you draw a picture …”
Because … who doesn’t like to draw? Actually, a lot of children process information much better when they are able to creatively express their thoughts. It may not be for every child, but hopefully, it is beneficial for some.
- “Something I learned that I want to tell to others …”
We should help children understand that the nature of the Christian life is community. So, sharing truth with each other should just be part of the culture of any church family. (Ephesians 4:15-16)
- Sermon Notes
When the sermon begins, take the time to help them find the book of the Bible as well as how to locate chapters and verses.
Most of the preachers utilize the screen to display their main points. Hopefully, this space will allow for children to copy down the points. This helps them learn the discipline of listening and following along.
There are 3 other ways for a child to follow along with the sermon. They can be things that just come to their mind during the sermon or things after the sermon is over they have thought about. Either way, these are key elements of teaching children what it looks like to not just be hearers. (James 1:21-25)
- “What I learned about God …”
The Word of God reveals to us the nature, character, will, and ways of God. We trust that elements of His glory will be exalted when the Word is preached. You may want to help your child identify God’s goodness, wisdom, power, love, mercy, etc. throughout the sermon.
- “Things I don’t understand …”
- “How I want to love and obey Jesus more …”
Our love for Jesus is always indicated by our obedience to Him (John 14:15). Help them understand that worship is more than just singing; it’s joyful obedience to King Jesus. Talk about the things they heard in the sermon and what it looks like to obey them in practical day-to-day ways.Help children understand that worship is more than just singing; it’s joyful obedience to King Jesus. Click To Tweet
We look forward to seeing this simple tool could help in seeing our children set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments (Psalm 78:7).