Next Sunday - November 6 - the 1st through 5th graders will be in the service with their parents. In this post, I want to answer some specific questions.
How often will TBC have these Kids in Church Sunday?
Every 3 to 6 months and usually on or around a 5th Sunday month.
What do we need to do this Sunday?
After Sunday School be sure to pick up your 1st - 5th-grade child from the classroom. They will be in the service with you the entire time.
Before the service, you can pick up a kid's sermon notes page at the Sunday School or at the communications center, by the upstairs elevator door.
How do these Kids In Church Sundays fit with the goal of TBC’s children’s ministry?
Parents are the primary disciple-makers in their child’s life. On other Sunday different families may have different plans for Sunday service time.
- Some parents may choose to have their children with them in the service regularly. The children and family ministry of TBC wants to help you do that.
- Some parents may choose to have their children in children’s church downstairs during the whole service. The children and family ministry of TBC wants to offer age-appropriate classes that provide lessons for you to talk about with your child.
- Some parents may choose to have their children in the auditorium during the service opening and then send them downstairs before the service. We will continue to have that slide in the service that says children can be dismissed at this time for children's church.
Parents, prayerfully disciple your children and when needed seek help on how to do this.
An additional note, if you decide to keep your child with you because of some thing didn't go well for your child during children, please let Pastor Dave or one of the other leaders know.
What should I do if my child doesn't get anything from being in the service?
REMEMBER: Children are learning more than we think they are.
First, for each Kids In Church Sunday, I develop a note sheet for the children.
Don't think "my child needs to get or understand EVERYTHING in the sermon." Instead think "my child needs to get or understand SOMETHING." Ask your child "What is one thing you learned or were reminded of in today's sermon?
Let me remind you of two things your child "gets" every single time they are with you in the service. First and most importantly, they get to see you - their parent or grandparent or spiritual mentor - worshiping God in song, opening the Bible, and attentively listening to the pastor preach. Second, they get to see the pastor proclaim God's Word through preaching.
Here is an 11-minute podcast about Kids in Church - http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/should-children-sit-through-big-church
A quote from this podcast: "The aim is that the children catch the passion for worshiping God by watching mom and dad enjoy God week after week. What would be the impact if, for twelve years, the children saw his dad with his face in his hands praying during the prelude to worship? What would be the impact if they saw mom and dad beaming with joy in singing the praises of God?"
In my opinion, this is the most challenging of the three oppositions. So I want to be careful in answering it.
Pastor Brett and I try to coordinate the Kids In Church Sundays around his preaching schedule.
In a service that is not geared towards children, there are words and ideas that come up that kids will have questions about, and parents don't know how to answer.
There are the realities of sin in our world that need to be addressed in sermons: pornography, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, sex trafficking, and others.
There are God-given gifts that are not easy to talk about with young children: sex in the context of marriage.
First of all, when we have had messages that focus on topics like homosexuality, we have our regular children's church program through 3rd grade and we have added an optional class for 4th and 5th graders.
Now here comes the challenging part. Please read through to the end.
I have read in several places that the appropriate time for a parent to start talking with their child about sex is "younger than you think." Our culture is becoming more and more sexualized. Magazines in the supermarket. Commercials at the most unexpected times. Conversations with friends at school. And in many cases, these are not the messages we want our children to know.
Would you rather have a conversation with your son or daughter about same-sex marriage after the pastor at church mentions it during a Biblical sermon or after your son hear about it on the playground or through a TV clip hears in passing?
Here is a section from Time for the Talk by Steve Zollos
Growing up has never been easy, not for boys. For many of you fathers reading this book, fistfights, police chases, and broken hearts seemed to be waiting around every corner during your teen years—but the world we see today isn’t the world you grew up in. Not even close. Back then there was at least some protection from the dirt of the world. Today, a boy steps off the school bus and into a place you and I never conceived of in our youth. Gangs, drugs, shootings, condoms, sex, pornography, and perversion are everywhere. Worst of all, it’s largely accepted, tolerated, or condoned by those in authority.
Oh, so your son is in private school? Or he’s home-schooled? Do you really think that makes things different for him? Maybe a little bit, but don’t let that give you a false sense of security. That young man still lives in a world hugely more seductive and radically more damaging than the one you knew at his age. Have you listened to his music lately? Have you taken a walk around your neighborhood? Do you have any idea what a typical group of young people talks about in private? Have you heard the language, seen the actions, and understood the values being promoted on movies, television, video games, computer, and cell phone screens? In the time that you’ve been on the internet, have you seen things that you would never want your son to see, even accidentally? How much more time does he spend online than you? With all of this talk about the trouble in this world, let's remember that our hope is in God.
He has given us what we need to live for His glory. Jesus. The Holy Spirit. The Word of God. The church. Biblical sermons.
Let's help our kids find their hope in God.
What if my child is not able to sit still?
This is a training issue. As you think about this question, consider the future.
The 8 Tips guide that is going home with 1st through 5th graders this Sunday has some great suggestions. Here are a couple of them.
3. WALK YOUR CHILD THROUGH THE SERVICE BEFORE IT STARTS!!
Look over the bulletin or service details online; point out what will be happening and how your child can participate. This may mean teaching him a refrain of a responsive reading or teaching him a phrase from a song or chorus and asking him to listen to it. Pray with your child before the service starts.
4. ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SERVICE!
By teaching your child hymns and worship songs at home he will be able to participate in the service. If he cannot learn the whole song, teach him the refrain and signal to him when it is time to sing the part he knows. Encourage your child to sit and to stand at the appropriate times, to clap when appropriate, etc. Have your child bring an offering and place it in the plate.
Click HERE for all EIGHT Tips for Helping Your Child Worship.
Click HERE for Parenting in the Pew Resources (Keeping The Quiet, Keeping Them Involved, Helping Them Worship)
As soon as the songs are made known, I will post the songs on the kids page.
Let's help each other joyfully follow God.