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8 Tips for Family Sundays

Our church is loaded with children.  And we love every single one of them!  One way we love them is by providing Citylight Kids – a ministry to children with age-specific discipleship – on most Sunday mornings.  Children (and parents) love Citylight Kids and it’s amazing to see children catch the gospel, grow in love for Jesus, and build relationships with one another.

But another way we love the children in our church is through Family Sundays.  Occasionally, we intentionally don’t provide Citylight Kids so that we can welcome children into our regular worship gatherings!  Usually, this means a little more chaos and a little more crowd, but it always means a lot more joy!

If you’re a parent, sometimes it is tricky to prepare for a Family Sunday.  How do you help your children sing?  How in the world can they sit still for that sermon?  Where do we sit?  How many donuts should I bring with me to my seat?  Lots of questions!  We wanted to offer a few tips for parents as you prepare for the Family Sundays coming up on July 9, 16, and 23.  We hope they help!

  1. Prepare the night before.  Let your children know that Sunday will be a little different, and they’re going to be sitting with you.  Then read a few verses from the passage that will be preached.  We’ll be preaching John 9 on July 16; John 10 on July 23; and John 11 on July 30.  Read a story (any story!) from that chapter and spark some interest in your children with some “I Wonder” questions…”I wonder what the pastor is going to say about that?”  “I wonder why Jesus did that?”  I wonder why Jesus said that?”
  2. Grab a Kids Pack on your way in.  There will be coloring pages and crayons at the Connection Table.  Feel free to grab some of these to help your children.  And getting your coffee and their donuts might help a little, too.  🙂
  3. Pick a good seat and sit as a family.  We recommend getting a seat where your kids can see the action.  And sit together as a family!  This allows you to model singing and listening to your children throughout the gathering.
  4. Don’t be afraid to talk with your children.  Point to the worship leader or preacher on stage and tell them who they are.  Help them find the passage in their Bible and let them read.  Read the words of the song to your children who can’t read yet.  This allows you to be their parent and spiritual leader, and we love that!
  5. Show your love for Jesus through singing and listening!  Perhaps the most important thing you can do on Family Sundays is sing loud, sing joyfully, and listen joyfully.  Let your children see your love for Jesus, and they’ll catch that love themselves!
  6. Explain communion to your children.  We take communion each Sunday after the message.  It is a powerful time to remember the body and blood of Jesus.  And it can be a great time to pray together as a family.  Pull away to the side or huddle up in your row and pray right before or right after you take communion.  Let the children see the bread and juice.  They’ll remember that moment for a long time!
  7. Pull away to the Family Room if you need to.  We will have a Family Room immediately next to the Worship Center that will have the music and message streaming live via audio.  There are tables and chairs, toys and activities for children in there.  If you need to, just head in there and hang with your children there.  We get it!
  8. Ask the “Favorite” question on your way home.  On your drive home, ask your children what their favorite part was.  Celebrate whatever their answer is, even if it was just the donut!  Encourage their joy and keep making Family Sundays fun for them!

Parents, you are amazing!  God has called you to be the primary disciple-makers in your family, and He will give you the strength and wisdom and joy to love your children these next three Sundays.  Let’s have an awesome time with Jesus, worship as a family with the family of God!

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