Gateway Family Sundays - Parent Tips
Gateway Family Sundays Parent Tips
First, set realistic expectations:
Your 5-year-old will likely not be still or silent for the entire service and the people sitting around you don’t expect it either! Children are more than welcome in church.
Second, talk about the service in advance:
Explain to your child that their usual Small Group Leaders and teachers are worshipping with our Gateway Family these next two Sundays. And your family will do the same. Talk through the typical parts of the service – singing, offering, sermon and prayer.
Third, make a game plan:
Each family might have a different strategy for making Gateway Family Sundays successful, but if you need some ideas, take a look at our Top 10 List:
“Top 10” Parent Tips
1. Sit up front where your child can see what is happening, or if you think your child will not sit, sit on the aisle where you can easily slip out.
2. Put a parent between each child to minimize the chatter between multiple children.
3. For readers, allow your child to follow along the sermon with our child friendly Sermon Notes insert.
4. Bring crayons or colored pencils.
5. Draw pictures of what they see in the auditorium and then chat over lunch.
6. Draw pictures or make a list of things God made.
7. Hold hands with your child, and every time you hear a “secret word,” race to see who can squeeze their hand first. Secret words could be God, Jesus, Bible, love, etc.
8. Keep your phone put away. (Unless you or they are using the YouVersion Bible app) We know kids play games on cell phones/tablets; now is a great time to teach your child to respect sacred time by leaving electronics turned off for those purposes.
9. Have your child bring an offering to place in the bucket as it is passed.
10. Bring a snack!
Lastly, just try it. Your child may surprise you. And if you need to leave before the sermon is over, your family hopefully got something out of your time in worship and will talk over these teaching moments on the ride home.
Take a look at our Parent Pathway for age-specific resources to help you lead your child to become more and more like Jesus!