Building Healthy Families: How We Prepare Our Children for Corporate Worship
Lindsey Peek, Director of Children and Family Ministries
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14
Heading into the new school year, you’ve likely had the same conversations in your homes that we have had in ours: “What’s our morning routine going to look like?” “How are we preparing the night before for the chaos that will undoubtedly come in the morning?” “Who is taking the kids to school?” If we headed into the first day of school with no alarms set, no grocery store trips or plans for lunches, that first morning would be insane. Our kiddos would look at us with sleepy eyes and wonder what in the world was going on, and likely just head back to bed.
So how do we prepare them? We make sure they have their clothes ready, lunches are packed and they go to bed on time… or at least try to. In other words, while we prepare to prevent the chaos of the new routine, we also prepare our children to thrive and to learn.
Preparing for the return of early morning wake ups and school schedules is a lot like the work we do to prepare our children for what it looks like to transition into worshiping with the body of Christ in the Sanctuary (Corporate Worship). That spiritual prep work is exactly what we are doing in Kids Cove Worship.
Fostering a community of peers who stand together. While in school, children are bombarded with confusing messages about what they should believe and what they should stand for. In Kid’s Cove Worship, they learn that it is okay to stand up for what is right, and they see how they can do it by watching other children. Adults need fellowship, and children do, too. In Kid’s Cove Worship, we have time to fellowship, to build friendships, and to learn God’s Word together.
Presenting biblical truths in child-friendly ways. In Kid’s Cove Worship we open God’s Word and teach kids to be active listeners (rather than fake listeners). We learn with hands on experiments, games, crafts, and skits. Kids learn that stories from the Bible aren’t just stories, but lessons for their lives! We break down the message Pastor Dillon is teaching and figure out how it applies to them and how to act on it in everyday life.
Teaching children how to worship. Every week we begin with all children in Corporate Worship, or “Big Church” as we call it. During this time your children have the chance to see you worship and to hear the entire Faith Family come together with an offering to the Lord. This time is so important. I encourage you to explain to your kids why we are all together, why we are singing, and why we are praying. Encourage them to participate, to clap their hands and sing loudly and to bow their heads and speak silently to the Lord. When we break off from “Big Church,” we continue to worship God; everything we do on Sunday mornings is worship! And we also learn how worship involves our everyday choices and actions.
At the end of the day, whether your child is in “Big Church” or Kid’s Cove, we’re all on the same team with one goal: that our kids will grow to love and trust Jesus with all their hearts. We’ve worked really hard to make sure that our preschool and early elementary kids are given the tools they need to be active participants in Corporate Worship; so that when they transition, whenever your family feels ready, they will be prepared. Just like that first day of school.