If you have younger children, here are some suggestions for how to coach them to enjoy “big church” on Sundays.
1. Talk to your kids about what they will experience. They will get to sing. They will hear prayers and the Bible read. There will be a sermon and sometimes special events like baptism or the Lord’s Supper. There may be a prayer or creed to recite. Also, they will be able to give to the offering in response to God giving to us.
2. Give your children a worship journal. This can be just a plain paper journal or even a college ruled notebook where they can write down the main idea and points of the message, or draw pictures of what they hear in the message. Bring a bag of crayons so that they can get creative.
3. Role play. Put a couple of chairs out and model how to find a seat and sit. Explain that this will be their special seat for the whole service. Part of the time they will be standing to sing, and other times they will be seated. While seated, they will have colors and activity sheets to work on as they listen to the message. Ask them questions like, What happens when we stand? What will we do when we sit? Are we supposed to jump in our seats? Let’s practice!
4. Arrive before the service begins and get your seats early so that you can review what is going to happen.
5. Sit near the front where children can have a clear view.
6. Allow children to place your offering in the basket or let them bring their own coins.
7. Allow small children to bring a favorite stuffed animal or toy.
8. Encourage children to bring their own Bible storybooks.
Let me know if these tips help!