Oh Come All Ye Faithful

Christmas is coming and many people make a point to attend church worship services and the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. 

There are many challenges people face at Christmas, but one practical thing is “What do I do with my kids?” At Lawson Heights Alliance, we invite our children into the worship for the first two songs every Sunday, and at Christmas and Christmas Eve, they get to join us for the whole service. Here are some tips that help:

  1. Start with your attitude and pray – you can do it! Remember the goal is to Worship God and Connect with others.
  2. Discuss expectations with you kids. I know that sounds like it’s asking a lot, but many children can help create realistic expectations. “When the pastor asks us to stand, what would be the respectful thing to do? Why do we stand?” “When the pastor is speaking, what are things we can do?”
  3. Get a drink and visit the restroom before entering the sanctuary – this may require you to be early. Bring some snacks and a colouring book.
  4. Help them fill out KidZone sermon notes or Activity Packs that are provided at the KZ table.
  5. Read the passage in their Bible. No one is going to judge you for reading the Bible to your children in a whisper during the service. 
  6. Sit near the front – seriously. There will be fewer distractions in front of your kids and they can see better.
  7. If your child wiggles or doesn’t sing, realize many adults do the same when it’s not their favourite song either.
  8. Explain anything that is unfamiliar, like songs and words they don’t understand. Say things like “Do you know what this song is about? Our God is so awesome, that he is the source of all wisdom, power and love!” “Do you know why we light advent candles – because we’re so excited that the celebration of Jesus’ birth is coming” “Do you know why we do this? Me neither, lets ask a friend after the service”
  9. Sing Christian songs at home with your kids and play them on Spotify or Youtube.
  10. Don’t reward them for what can be “normal” behaviours like listening and not being disruptive. A simple “thank you” and “well done” can go a long way.
  11. Oh yeah, there is no such thing as “Normal” and no kids are perfect! Some weeks will be a disaster, but some weeks will actually be worshipful and you’ll likely hear your kids talking about the sermon or singing the songs at home. 
  12. Be consistent with attendance and expectations, it will enable them to get into a groove – and worship God!
 

If you’ve tried all these things and they’re still restless, just remember that they are kids, have patience, relax. Real Christians are not judging you based on how well your children behave during a service. We are glad you are able to join us and we don’t mind a few disruptions. We love you. We need you. You can do it!