Kids and parents both feel the brunt of a busy schedule these days. Between school, your daughter’s dance rehearsals, your son’s soccer practices, homework, and other obligations, you may feel like you have no time to practice your faith with your children. Making time for church is a hefty commitment- however, if you’re serious about getting involved in the church’s community, they will give you a helping hand. Looking for a place to start? Here is our guide to getting your kids invested in the church community.
A Word of Advice
If you’re going to your kids more involved, you need to get involved too. Take the initiative to start seeking out opportunities to bond with the church community. Whether you bring food to a church potluck, donate clothing to a drive, or dedicate yourself to regularly going to church, others will notice and appreciate your efforts. Showing your children that you care about being involved will instill in them how important it is that they be involved as well. It may be difficult to find the time, but if you can make this commitment as a family, you can work together to get everyone more involved.
Find Your Way Into The Community
Once you feel confident in your own involvement, find activities geared towards your child’s interests. Here are a few recommended ways to keep your child active at church.
1. Enroll in Sunday School – Sunday School is a great jump-start to helping your children find faith at a young age. Sitting through a full sermon takes a focus and attention span that your young son or daughter may not have yet. The Sunday School environment adapts their lessons to children and keeps the teachings light and engaging. Plus, your child has a great opportunity to meet and be inspired by other young students who give their time to the church. These classes are a gateway to start sharing the Lord’s teachings with your children in an easy-to-digest way.
2. Include Their Hobbies – Find a way to combine your child’s hobby with religious teachings. For example, if your child has a flair for the dramatic, many churches offer performance opportunities so your son or daughter can shine. Let them join a church youth choir or participate in the yearly Christmas pageant. By combining their interests with a focus on spirituality, they may find their love of God more easily. Plus, what parent doesn’t like to see their son or daughter enjoy his or herself while learning?
3. Have Dinner Out (At Church) – Many churches will offer mid-week dinners to give the church community a chance to bond. This dinner will give your children the opportunity to make new friends, and will let you meet other parents who may have their own tips and tricks to share. A parent’s best friend is the advice of other parents- you never know what might work!
4. Make New Friends – Children are usually more eager to participate in activities with their friends. If they meet other children in their Sunday School class or start talking to someone during a family event, invite the child over for a play-date. Fostering these friendships will make your child more eager to go to church, and may open their eyes to ways they can get involved. Everything is more fun with friends- even church!
A Guide for Your Rebellious Teen
Young children can be convinced to attend church with the promise of ice cream and treats if they behave. However, it can be difficult to convince your older children to stay invested in the church. Luckily, churches offer a variety of opportunities for your teenaged sons and daughters. Here are our suggestions for keeping your teen interested in church:
1. If they have an interest in community service, encourage them to participate in mission outreach programs or become a member of a caravan ministry. Both of these programs allow your children to explore the world and share their faith with others.
2. If your child happens to be particularly smart and does well in school, let them tutor younger children who attend your church. Your child will also practice great study habits and give a valuable service to the community.
3. If your child is already invested at Church and wants to get more involved, suggest that they take on a student leadership position. Your son or daughter can use this position to teach faith and learn more about the Lord’s teachings. It’s an ideal position to take if your child wants to become a minister later in life, and generally prepares them to take leadership positions in other aspects of their lives. No matter the reason, taking on a leadership role is a great way to give your teen a chance to blossom, grow, and mature.
Your kids may have a different relationship with the Church than you, and that’s okay! Let your child focus their energy on church activities they love so they learn to love the Church. If you push them less and let them choose what they want to do (with some guidance), you may find that getting them involved is easier than you think. Let them find their way to God in a way that feels genuine, and they will shine.« BACK