- Talk about expectations on your way to church.
- Get a drink and visit the rest room before entering the sanctuary.
- Sit where your child is able to see the front of the church.
- Point out the pulpit, altar, lectern, organ, and communion rail. Discuss how they are used.
- Look for colors and symbols in the banners, windows, paraments, and other art work. Explain that they are there to remind us of God's love and care.
- Find all the crosses in the church. Tell your child that the cross reminds us of Jesus.
- Talk about the people who help during the service and mention the jobs they do (pastor, readers, ushers, organist, etc.).
- Be consistent in your expectations and routines.
- Sit close to the front so the child can see and be more involved in worship.
- Allow your child to sit in a comfortable manner. Bring a booster chair so they can see.
- If your child wiggles, avoid fretting; adults wiggle, too!
- Participate joyfully! Your child will model your actions. Don't worry that your child doesn't listen to what you say, know that she watches everything you do.
- Make church a warm, loving place to be. Discipline in a kind manner. Demonstrate forgiveness.
- Help your child listen for a key word, such as "Jesus."
- Explain what is happening in the service. Answer your child's questions briefly and accurately.
- Involve your child in the worship service. Sing together. Fold hands for the prayers; stand and sit at appropriate times.
- Bring your child forward for a blessing during Holy communion.
- Greet the pastor at the door, Lift your child to be at the pastor's eye level. Encourage your child to shake hands with the pastor.
- Talk about the worship service by mentioning parts that were especially meaningful to you (the Choir song, sermon, a hymn . . .).
- Talk about the childrenŐs message and refer to it during the week in relation to your childŐs life.
- Make a praise booklet. Have your child draw pictures that reflect what God has done or things for which your child is thankful. Present the book to your pastor.
- Sing hymns or songs together.
- Read and reflect on Scripture readings together.
- Pray for the pastor, organist, and others who have led the worship service.
- Pray for congregation members who were prayed for in the service.
During the Week
- Pray together.
- Engage in service and witness projects with your child.
- Play church at home. Family members may participate.
- Visit the church. Investigate the baptismal font, lectern, pulpit, organ, communion rail, altar, etc. Explain why and how each is used. Keep comments simple.
- Spend time each day listening to a spiritual story, record, music, hymns or songs that are regularly sung in church.
- Make "going to church" a special event. Speak positively about worship.
- Lay out special clothes for church on Saturday night.
- Prepare an offering with your child. Explain that it is a gift for Jesus.
- Purchase a child's Bible. Read it at home. Carry it to church.