Hey Super Great Riverside People,
It is time for another Family Worship Service. Which means Sunday April 14, 2019 we will all be waving our palm branches together. It also means that the nursery will be open, and after the singing portion of the service the preschool room will also be open, if you feel like you need it. This is an opportunity to share with your children something that is extremely important to you. We don’t go to church just to hang out with people we like, and listen to music. We go to church to worship God. To give him the freely offered praise of His people. Psalm 22 says, “You are holy, You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel” Our praises are his throne.
What a privilege to praise Him together with our children! What an opportunity to show our children how grateful we are for all Christ has done for us. Especially as we approach Easter!
If you don’t have young children, take a moment to say hello to one! Make a new friend. Even if the friend doesn’t say “hi” back. Keep saying hello!
I also know that having your kids in service can feel frustrating and like a waste for everyone. But it isn’t! Keep on keeping on!
Here are some things I would like you to feel the freedom to say to your children during the service….
- “Here is an activity bag, would you like to color or build something with Legos?” You would be amazed at what your children hear when you don’t think they are listening. Activity bags are in the back of the sanctuary on the round coat rack. They are themed and color coded.
- “Would you like to stand on the chair (during the standing parts) so you can see?” Also Parents, avoid the temptation to sit in the back. Put your kids in front where they can see what is going on. Also if they do something extremely disruptive, you won’t be embarrassed when twenty heads jerk backwards to see what’s happening. And you’ll save the rest of us the neck strain. 🙂 You might also like to know that other people enjoy watching children during the service. It is a blessing.
- “In this song, we are singing about…” Sometimes worship songs are difficult for kids to understand as they often involve abstract concepts and poetic symbolic words. “When peace like a river attendeth my way…”(ex.) Take a moment during the song to explain what it’s talking about. Which will be so much easier if your kid is already standing up on the chair next to you.
- “I’ll fill one out too!” The Kids bulletin isn’t just for kids, they are for people of all ages, and they are awesome. Grab one, and fill it out, it might just help you learn and grow too! (FYI-they are available every Sunday in the welcome center near the kids activity bags) Then you can share them over lunch!
- And finally… if your children are older (in your sweet but firm voice)…“Are you hurt? Are you in immediate danger? No? Then you need to stop talking to me. I cannot force you to participate in worship, but this is not about you. There is something bigger happening, that I want you go be a part of. And your whining, tugging, body throwing, foot stomping, general bad attitude, etc. is distracting me from giving my full attention to God, who I love and who I came to worship today.” Sometimes it’s ok to tell your kids, it’s not about them.
In case you were wondering, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, it wasn’t just the children cheering and waving palm branches. All the people were. Grown ups, feel free to wave a palm branch yourself!
Onward and Upward
Children’s Discipleship Director