Love Over Time Matters Most

Four Phases - One Goal

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Sunday Schedule

Nursery - 8:00, 9:30 & 11:00
Preschool - 9:30 & 11:00
Elementary - 9:30 & 11:00
Middle School - 9:30
High School - 9:30

Sunday Evenings:
HS Youth Schedule

Faith Through the Phases

NextGen Blog and Podcast

Kids in Church!?!

Many of us have different thoughts when we picture our younger kids sitting in church with us. For some, it’s a normal weekly experience. If you’re anything like me, though, it can cause some anxiety. My kids aren’t so quiet and they don’t always sit still…

This post is meant to be a quick reminder that all NextGen programming except the nursery is on hold this weekend. If that’s a surprise you can read more about why at this link. We’ll be back to our regular programming next week and excited to get after another month of learning.

If you’re not one of the many who are traveling this week, this post is also meant to give you some ideas on how you can help your kids join you in worship and get the most out of the experience. First are some general thoughts that you can take or leave. Then, we have a few specific things that you can use for preschoolers and elementary aged kids.

Communicate about what the morning will look like with your kids before arriving. Setting expectations and giving them a clear picture of what’s coming and what you expect always helps.

When we have all of our kids, we sit in the back. Sometimes, with our kids, we come to a standoff. Often in that moment, it doesn’t take long to realize that whatever situation led to the standoff will not likely be resolved “peacefully.” In the center of row four is the last place I want to be when that happens. Maybe that’s just me.

Preschool Specific Ideas

-We’ll have a table with coloring sheets and picture books available for kids to borrow in the South hallway.

-Bring a quiet snack, if you’d like you can bring one for me too. 🙂

-Know when to retreat, if it’s just not working you can take your preschooler to the library and watch the service while they look at more books.

-Give them a heads up of what is coming. Tell them what we’ll be doing and why it’s important. Many preschoolers love to do what mom and dad do! We’ll be learning from Philippians 1:12–26. Singing 10,000 Reasons, Throne Room Song, Amazing Grace, It is Well With My Soul and All I Have is Christ. We’ll also be praying. Play a couple of these songs for your kids and see if they can tell you when the song is played in service.

-Practice whispering at home and in the ride to church.

-See church the way they see church. There are things to be learned about God when we look through the eyes of a preschooler.

Elementary Specific Ideas

-Check out the preschool ideas, they work for elementary aged kids too!

-Ask your elementary age kids to listen for three words that they don’t know. Have them write them down and talk about them later. Ask them to listen for specific words of your choosing. Talk about what those words mean. Share a wink and a smile with them when they hear them.

-Ask your kids to come up with two things they like about church and one thing they would like to be different. Talk about them later.

-Plan a fun activity after church. I sometimes make the mistake of holding a fun activity hostage. If you don’t behave, we won’t… What if you plan a “no matter what” fun activity after church. Excitement for what is coming makes the current situation more exciting too.

In the end, you know your kids better than we do. Do what you think will be best. From the bottom of my heart, I look forward to worshipping with them this Sunday as I do every week.