Saturday, April 17, 2010

Making the Lord's Day Special I

Here are some of the ideas I said I wanted to share. They're all adapted from a compilation put together by my friend Barb. Hope they bless and inspire you to make the Lord's Day special at your house!

  • Set a family policy regarding the Lord's Day so that when situations come up (i.e. sports, invitations, etc.) you have something in place to guide your decisions.
  • Be in church both a.m and p.m. to create well-grounded attendance habits. Even for those with babies or toddlers, this is important. You are communicating that "this is very important and it's a priority in our lives." Parents who excuse missing church communicate that church is something you can take or leave--depending on what is convenient.
  • Be on time--even early! Are you ever late when attending a baseball game or movie? Being lazy about arriving at church on time communicates quietly about how important it is. (This one was convicting to me!)
  • Help children be prepared with memory work and supplies needed. Prepare the night before by laying things out.
  • Encourage your child to be thinking of someone they could encourage in some way--perhaps with a card, or just a special greeting. Have them think of what they could say to an elderly member that day. This is a good focus for teens who are worried about their hair, clothes, etc., when getting ready for church.
  • Teach your kids to serve their church. Have them be ready to help with clean-up after fellowship dinners, set up chairs, or pass out papers when needed. Can they be ready to hold umbrellas on a rainy morning or assist elderly members as they walk from the parking lot? Young mothers often need help carrying things or corralling toddlers.
  • Provide your child with a special church notebook. Encourage them to take notes on the sermon or draw a picture of something in the sermon.
  • Consider sitting toward the front of the sanctuary--another communication of how important worship is. You want good seats for this event! This also leaves the back seats available for visitors who might feel uncomfortable walking to the front to look for a seat.
  • Fix a special meal with nice dishes, tablecloth, and candles: things you wouldn't use on other days.
  • Have members of the congregation over for lunch on the Lord's Day. Involve children in meal prep and clean-up. Have them take care of answering the door, taking coats, keeping water glasses filled. This is good practice in ministry to others--sharing toys, home, and themselves. It's also a great way to practice manners! Having guests also provides children with natural opportunities for spiritual conversation around the table and fun times getting to know fellow church members. One family often had college students over who were missing their younger siblings and enjoyed being with a family for an afternoon.
  • Have a special, traditional snack saved only for Lord's Day evening. Some ideas are pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, root beer floats, popcorn, or some other favorite recipe. Time around the table at this time of the day is a great opportunity to discuss topics that the kids are dealing with, or to ask a conversation-starting question, such as "If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?"
  • Consider excusing your kids from dish duty on the Lord's Day to emphasize that this day is their day of rest. Mom and Dad can do the dishes on this day.
  • Read Bible stories aloud and act them out using props. Bible charades is fun, too.
  • Sing Psalms or hymns together. Listen to Christian music together.
  • Make a mural of drawings from the day's sermon or SS lesson. Add to this weekly.
  • Color with your children in Bible-themed coloring books and discuss the story or theme represented.
  • Play "Who am I?" and try to guess the mystery Bible character.


Liz said...

Love this Candice! I'm going to share it!

agnicholl said...

Great list, Candice! We're always looking for good ideas (any day) for raising Eiley up in the Lord!

Heather L. said...

Great ideas!