Raising kids who enjoy church: Our experience

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I want to first start out by saying that this post is purely based on OUR EXPERIENCE.  We don’t have all the answers and we are not experts!!!  These are the habits that we have found to “up the odds” that our kids will enjoy going to church, which may eventually lead them to know and love Christ.

  1. We started them young– It has always been a family tradition that we go to church on Sunday morning, or sometimes, Saturday night. We all go and follow up the service by doing something enjoyable: brunch, a hike, bike ride or MY personal favorite- head to Subway for lunch!! (No cooking for Mom!!)
  2. We didn’t spend too much time at church–  Although we were tempted as parents to attend church and volunteer too, we tried to make sure that we didn’t frustrate our kids by being there all morning when they were little. When we had little ones and were taking our shift working in the nursery on Sunday, we would go to church Saturday night or skip church that week, or watch online at home.  As they got older, our kids could volunteer if they chose to.
  3. We gave them choices– Just as we adults do, kids like choices. We gave our kids a choice to attend their Sunday school class or sit with us in ” big” church.  I learned the hard way that our kids needed activities and snacks to sit through big church so Momma didn’t go CrAzY.
  4. We talked about the message after church, or at lunch: As our kids have grown, we talk about the message on the drive home and usually during lunch. We share our favorite part of the message and how it related to us.  This is also a great time for kids and parents to ask questions or give their point of view.  It’s always interesting hearing what they have to say- I’m usually surprised or learn something new about them.
  5. We allowed our kids to dress casual– My parents generation were raised that you wear your “Sunday Best” to church and quite honestly, kids just want to be comfortable.  Yes, I will draw the line if they choose swim trunks or something totally outrageous, but I have no problem with them wearing jeans and a tee shirt.  In fact, on Sundays at our church in the Fall, you may see a sea of green and gold- many wear their Packer shirts or jerseys!  How refreshing!
  6. We encourage, but never required our kids to find youth group or a small group.– Many churches have youth groups, but it was sometimes awkward for our child to want to go.  Again, we gave our kids the choice whether they want to attend youth group or not. With our four kids, two decided to be active in youth group, while the other 2 did not.  Let me tell you a secret….our kids were more willing  to go to youth group or their small group if they had a friend going too!

**We were so fortunate to have many staff members and volunteers at our church to help us along the way!

Please keep in mind that these were the things that worked for us.  Our goal is that our kids have a relationship with God and rely on Him for the rest of their lives.  Just as our faith journey has been different from others, your children’s will be too.  Some may reach for God in high school, others may make faith their own in college away from you and some may not at all.  There are no guarantees, but I believe these 6 items  have improved the chance that our kids will find and be a Christ follower forever.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I love sharing with you!!

Stay tuned next week, when I’ll be sharing my daughter’s FAVORITE dinner recipe!

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