Looking for some easy ways to engage your kids in our Shed Gatherings?
Here are our top 15 suggestions:
- Create patterns that help your whole family experience Sabbath rest and anticipation. Set out clothes the night before and set the alarm a little earlier so that you can arrive at worship in a peaceful state of mind. As you get ready, play your family’s favorite worship music and sing together.
- Instead of saying, “We have to go to church” say “we get to go to worship.” Teach your kids that worship isn’t just a place we go, it’s something we are super blessed to do!
- Buy a special journal for church only. Let your child decorate it. Use it for notes, prayers, pictures, questions etc.
- Get them their own kid-friendly Bible. [We use the NIRV Kid’s Study Bible by Zonderkids] Add fun Bible tabs to help find scripture.
- Let your kid pick your seats.
- Sing ‘with’ your child. Encourage them to dance, move, make up motions and express themselves during worship.
- Make a brief list of words [or simple pictures] your child is likely to hear during the sermon [God, Jesus, Bible, Love etc.] and have them make tally marks by the word every time they hear it. Before the sermon, try to guess with your child, which word will get the most tally marks.
- Draw a picture of what the pastor is teaching.
- Celebrate the Sacraments; Whether or not your child fully participates in the Lord’s Supper, he or she is experiencing it. Enfold children who aren’t participating by whispering what you are remembering as you eat and drink, and reminding them “Jesus loves you too!”
- Get good at whispering: Help kids stay engaged during worship by whispering questions or making observations. During a song, whisper, “My favorite verse of this song is the third one. Which part do you like the best?” As Scripture is read, ask your child how it would feel to be living in that story.
- Have your child hold your hand and squeeze it when they hear Jesus’ name.
- Help your child look up the Scripture passage and follow along in the Bible when it is read.
- Let your child be the one to drop the family contribution into the joy box. Consider providing your child with a special envelope designated for the joy box and invite your child to decorate it with their best drawing as a reminder that we give God our best.
- Create a pattern of sharing lunch after church. Use this time to ask questions and make observations about the Sunday Gathering.
- Make regular church attendance a family priority. Worshiping with God’s people is the best way to help your children feel that church is a place where they belong.