Last month, we heard from Stephanie Greig—a friend of mine and mother of two children. She shared how her family deepens their faith in Jesus at home. This month I want to share a few things she wrote, but was unable to include, about attending worship.
So Stephanie, tell us about your experience as a parent of young children in worship:
Ever since Riley was born, I grounded myself in the truth that worshipping at church is not about meeting certain behaviors. Worship is not about being on time, how frequently you attend or how quiet your child is. Worship is about thanking God for what he’s done for us and receiving the many gifts of the service—communion, confession and forgiveness, etc. Along the way, I’ve explained to Riley that worshipping at church is just one of the ways and places we worship.
When Riley first learned to walk, if we made it to church early, we would walk around the sanctuary and I would point out all the crosses, explain the pictures in the stained glass, the baptism font and the altar. This walk around the sanctuary also got out the wiggles.
Stephanie also tells us about how she likes to whisper in worship:
I also do A LOT of whispering during the service to explain what we are doing and why.
Altar – A way we show God respect,
Reading the lessons – People are reading us a Bible story,
Pastor preaching – The Pastor is teaching us about Jesus,
Communion – We are having a meal with Jesus and with everyone at our church. Jesus joins this meal to tell us we are forgiven and that we have all these people to pray with us and for us,
Confession/Forgiveness – We tell God that we made some bad choices and the pastor gets to tell us that Jesus forgives us.
While I’m not the parent of young children, I do know that worship can be a challenging time for parents. Kids like wriggle around and make noise, and if they’re anything like I was as a young child, they may not even want to be there. But as a pastor, know just how thankful I am for you, because you show them that it’s important. You show them that Jesus matters, that he—like you—loves them, and that nothing will ever change that.
So keep hanging in there and know that you have a pastor up front who’s incredibly grateful for what you do—your worship and commitment as a parent. And at every step along the way you’ve got my support and prayers.