Saturday, September 17, 2011

Practicing Sunday Morning

Last night my husband and I took our three boys to church to practice for Sunday morning. There's no special performance; we were just practicing the usual Sunday morning procedure.

Sunday school started last week. We went to church for fellowship time (eating and talking) which is followed immediately by classes. When it was time to take the kids to their classes, my 5-year-old had disappeared. I walked all around the building looking for him and 10 minutes later saw him in the hallway crying with his preschool teacher. He didn't want to go to class and so hid in his preschool cubby.

My husband could tell something was wrong because he saw me searching and looking worried but he was starting class for the adults and couldn't help me parent. He would help if I asked but this kind of thing happens nearly every week.

So for practice we sat in the sanctuary and talked about the parts of the worship service. They were most interested in talking about the offering and what poor people might buy with the money we give them. I didn't tell them yet that we are the poor people benefiting from the offering. Then we practiced waiting for Mom before leaving the sanctuary and walking down the hallway and telling Mom before you leave a room.

Looking forward to seeing if anything goes more smoothly tomorrow.

How have you helped your kids learn how to behave at church?


  1. We have also practiced church, both at church and at home on couches. I have gone through "church manners" with them and reinforced them periodically. (those you said above, plus basic friendliness saying hello when someone says hello, etc) I have also tried to put a special emphasis not on all the "you shouldn't do..." during service, but on the importance of hearing God's word and allowing the people around you to do the (very very important thing) of hearing God's word. So anything that might be a distraction to that is a problem.

    We also use parts of the liturgy at home at bedtime, "glory be to the father" and some of the prayers- the more that is familiar to them, the better!

    Sunday school always is a rough learning experience for my youngest eligible child, but it gets better!

    And also, I consider the nursery a God-given gift to me, and my little ones have spent many a happy Sunday there!

  2. Married later in life, so inherited stepkids left by first wife when she'd bolted. I mostly listened to my 12 yr old and his two, encouraged healthy venting outside of the church bldg with us, and encouraged healthy behaviors as I saw them. I also validated their sense of how crazy it all was, and then redirected them to their own sense of God. They are all grown up now; our families blended when the kids were 10 and 12 (two 12 yr old boys, was I nuts?). :~)

  3. I have a 3 yr old and a 7 yr old. A lot of Sundays I feel like a single parent. My first born was able to sit through church on his own pretty much since birth (which worked out nicely for us) my 3 yr old is not at all afraid to let her true feelings be known however loud and however inconvenient...I really enjoy your thoughts. You seem so normal and I mean that as a compliment. I have been a pastor's wife for 5 years now and while we are hanging with the whole ministry thing, it has not been all sweetness and light. We are second career folks (in our early 40s) as my husband was a stock broker for a decade and good at it...just not his calling. I love my husband and he does a good job but I miss my family and I miss living close to a Target (we don't make a lot of money so God is being merciful I suppose:). Anyways thanks for your thoughts and being honest. Don't misunderstand me as I love God and He is ever worthy of my life and I love my husband and I have great kids but sometimes ministry is hard and being the back up can be tiring...specifically as I gear up for another Sunday morning tomorrow :) Blessings on you and yours.


Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.