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How to Bring Your Child to Jesus
Going to Church
As a child, I attended "high church" with my family at a rather rigid Episcopal cathedral church in the South. What do I remember most about that early church experience? It was the refreshments after the service in the fellowship hall which had a black and white checkerboard floor. I would dart around only on black squares clutching a handful of scrumptious tea cookies and some punch.
The rest of church time was BORING, TOO LONG, TORTURE. And Sunday school was just too much like, well, you know, school. I had no love of church, no desire to go. It was like punishment. So, what can parents do today to bring children to church and to Jesus?
Does your child attend church or Sunday school?
Traditionally, Sunday school was before or after the church service, but nowadays, you can find churches that offer Sunday school, or Children's Church, during the same time as "grownup church."
Seacoast Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, is an example of a church that offers an incredible children's program during the same time as the main worship. Activities are fun and exciting, more like Vacation Bible School. My daughter's pre-teen class actually has a live band on stage playing music for them. The kids are moving, singing, playing games, and having meaningful discussions. It is a time they really look forward to experiencing. What a difference this is from forcing a child to sit quietly during a long sermon he is not able to understand.
Devotional Book for Kids
Teach Your Child Everyday
Remember that bringing your child to Jesus is not just about going to church once a week. You can teach your child every day. Start the day off with a devotional reading at breakfast. There are lots of fun age-appropriate children's devotionals out there. My family uses Growing with Jesus by Andy Holmes, which is a book of 100 daily devotionals. Older children can take turns reading, and everyone can join the discussion.
During the week, get the kids involved with volunteer work. Collect food and clothing for the needy and make sure you take the kids with you to drop off. Offer a helping hand or a cooked meal for the elderly or sick. Let the kids see you reading your Bible or preparing for a Bible study. Children will learn how to be like Jesus by following your lead.
by Greg Surratt of Seacoast Church
Connecting With the Community
There are ways kids can get out in the community as they follow Jesus. As a teenager, I attended a youth group at my best friend's church. My church also had a youth group, but her church's group had cuter boys, so there you go. Yes, there is a social aspect there, and that is important for this season of life.
Encourage your teen to join a youth group to connect with other teens in a safe, wholesome setting. Your church may also have volunteer opportunities for your child. My 13-year-old niece will be handing out Thanksgiving dinners to needy families this year. You also may want to look into upcoming mission trips for teen groups.
Experience Religion as a Family
Attending a family-friendly church is key to giving your child the best opportunity to love church and to learn about Jesus. Your child will grow even closer to Jesus by experiencing religion together at home and in the community. What has worked for you and your child? Please leave a comment.