Going to "Big Church"
It is such a blessing to watch your child grow and learn each day. He or she is becoming independent and learning how to do many things on his/her own. What a privilege we have as parents to teach our children so many things, but it is a special privilege and responsibility to teach our child about God and His love for us. Thank you for allowing us to partner with you as we teach your child at church.
One of the greatest privileges we have is to teach our children to worship. We know children learn best by example; therefore, it is important for them to learn to worship by our example as they join us in the worship service. Children are ready for this at different ages, and we will have care for them during both services through Kindergarten classes, but many parents choose to begin taking their children to worship when they are in a four-year-old or Kindergarten class.
Beginning on promotion Sunday, in late August, if your child is staying in the Preschool area during both services or going to worship with you at 11:00, your child's class will be: Pre-K room P114 or Kindergarten room P113. If your child is going with you to service at 9:30, your child will be in the 11:00 Life Connection classes: Pre-K room P114 or Kindergarten room P116.
Please realize that the goal of taking your child to the worship service is not to teach him/her to sit still and be quiet. The goal is to teach him/her to worship. Children are not created to sit still, a little moving around is usually not disruptive to those around you. Whispered questions are a wonderful way to teach your child about what is going on in the service.
Making Worship Meaningful
Listed below are some ways to make worship meaningful for your child:
1. Getting ready for church begins on Saturday night. Allow your child to help you as you set out clothes, shoes, Bible, and offering for the next morning. Talk positively to your child about what to expect in worship. It would be a good idea to show your child the Worship Center before his first Sunday in worship and talk about what happens during a service.
2. Have a "Big Church Bag" with items such as: Bible, a few crayons, blank paper, offering. Please do not bring toys to church. Your child's attention will be pulled away from what is happening in the service and could interrupt your child's worship.
3. Take your child to the bathroom before the service begins, rather than getting up in the middle of the service. This distracts your child from participating in the service.
4. Pick up a Children's Bulletin from the greeters. These are available each week and (as often as possible) are on similar passages or themes as the sermon.
5. Choose seats near the front so that your child will easily be able to see what is happening. Let your child know that this is a very important time, because it is our time to focus only on God.
6. Encourage your child to sing during the music portion of the service. Playing praise and worship music during the week will help your child know some of the songs. It is okay to allow them to stand on the chair next to you if they are too short to see. This also allows you to whisper words to songs your child may not know, so he can sing along.
7. Save the Children's Bulletin and the items in the Big Church Bag to use during the sermon. Encourage your child to draw pictures of things they see or hear during the service.
8. Help your child look up the scripture in their Bible. Follow the verses with your finger, even if your child can't read. It is important for her to learn that the Bible is a special book.
9. Answer questions simply and in your "church voice." Soft answers are less disturbing than a loud "shush." An "I'll tell you later" answer doesn't meet the need.
10. Allow your child to greet Pastor Jeff and others who had a part in the service when it is over.
11. Talk about the service on the way home. Ask your child questions and allow him to ask you questions. Even if it seems your child can't tell you anything he learned, if you will listen he will show you that he is learning at other times and in other conversations. Thank God together for the special time of worship you had as a family.
12. If you feel you didn't get to hear the sermon, make time during the week to listen to it online or order a copy from our music office.
If we can help you in any way when you decide to bring your child to worship, please let us know. We pray you enjoy this special and important time of learning for your child.
Preschool Ministry Staff
Kellie Charbonneau, Pastor of Preschool Ministries
Brandi Johnson, River Trails Preschool/Children's Director
Andrea Harris, Ministry Assistant
Stacy Roach, Sprouts Preschool Director