Let me begin by saying…I am not a parenting expert. I am not even close to figuring out this parenting thing. And, I haven’t been a dad all that long. 14 years to be exact. I have a 14 year old and then an 11-, 9- and 6-year-old. There are some days when I feel like I know nothing about being a parent. Some days are so crazy hard, I don’t even know where to start. And then, well, then there are some days when everything fits together like a giant puzzle.
Ok, that being said…
I love being a parent. I love being a dad.
Maybe I love it so much because I had amazing parents. Actually, hah, I still have amazing parents. My parents poured into my brother and I and invested everything they had in us.
But, I believe with every ounce of my being that being a dad is one of the greatest privileges God gives and I don’t want to waste this time.
One of the areas of parenting that I’m asked a lot about is church.
Specifically, how do I get my kids excited for Church?
How do I help my kids understand the importance of church. How do I help them feel involved and included in our church.
So, because I very much love the local church and I love parenting, I thought I would throw out a few suggestions on how to get our kids excited about church.
3 Ways to Get your Kids Excited About Church
Just about every Saturday night, Zach (my 9 year old), lays out his clothes and has all his stuff ready for church the next morning. He loves our church and he loves being a part. Now, of course, there are mornings when all of my kids don’t want to go to church, but here are some ways I try to help my kids be excited about their church.
Disclaimer: Before I go any further, I also want to say that I really believe these apply to best if your local church has an outstanding kids and student ministry. If your church is not investing in kids and the kids environments are less to be desired, these could be a much harder sell.
Also, if your church is on the uber traditional side and your teenagers fall asleep, again, I don’t think these are the answers.
To be honest, I think the best answer is to find a new church. A church that’s alive, has ton of energy, is growing and invests in their kids and students! That may sound harsh or like I’m suggesting that leaving a church is an easy decision. It’s not. But, I really think you need to think it through.
Ok, disclaimer over.
1. Model being a part of the Church.
Mom and dads…If you’re not actively involved in your church, then there is absolutely no way that you can ask your kids to be excited and involved in church. Now, if your kids are teenagers and you just started being involved, honestly, it may be too late. But, that’s no reason to not get involved. And, its never too late to start.
Notice I didn’t say, just attend church. I really believe we need to be a part of the church. To be the church. That means we…
- Pour into the church
- Serve our church community
- Tithe and model giving to the church
- Pray for our church
- Model serving at church
- Be in a small group
2. Involve your kids in Church Leadership
I personally think one of the absolute best ways to get your kids excited about church is to involve them in serving. If you serve, bring them along. Serve side by side. If they’re too young, tell them what you’re doing. Ask them what they think about it. Tell them all about it. What’s great about it and what’s not so great. Tell them over and over and then over and over again why you believe in the local church.
If your kids are older, encourage them to serve and if that’s not enough, give them a push to serve.
In their youth group, with kids ministry, with worship, or whatever interests them.
For some reason, we push our kids incredibly hard with sports and drama and all the other after school activities. But, sometimes (again, just my personal opinion, we really lay off when it comes time to church. Why is that?
It’s not enough to just attend every now and then. It’s not enough to just attend.
We have to model being actively involved.
3. Ask them their opinions and dream together.
One of the things that my wife and I do a lot with our kids is ask their opinions. We ask them about everything.
We have made it a habit over the years to constantly ask them questions and then to listen.
We spend a lot of time talking about church.
- What they like?
- What they think?
- What could be better?
- What they would do differently?
And, we spend a lot of time dreaming and praying together.
I know there is so much more, but I think these three will give you a huge help to get your kids excited about church.