When Erin saw the rocking chair, she knew this was a child friendly church. Easy tips for making your church welcoming to parents and children.
Posts Tagged ‘parents’
As people engaged in communicating the love of God to children, we know the value of age appropriate learning led by loving teachers using pedagogically sound resources. And we also understand the importance of including children in intergenerational worship.
Too often I’ve witnessed parents, weary and worried about disrupting the service, apologize to the people around because their children were wiggly or loud. They shouldn’t have to feel that way. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers may wonder at times if it is worth all the effort. This letter is for them:
The process of handing on our faith is all about experience. It is an experience of building a relationship with Jesus, lived out in community. Being formed in faith into the life of a community is not about sitting at a desk and readying a text, but growing in faith with one another in the name of Jesus.
As religious educators, we often bemoan the lack of commitment made to faith practices among those we wish were more faithful. But how often do we make clear exactly what we believe is critical for parents to do in order to raise children in the Christian faith?
When we stopped homeschooling after the primary years, and the boys went to grade school, finding time to read the Bible in the morning was a lot more challenging. There was no peaceful time when everyone was together in the same room. I ended up settling into a pattern of reading to them as they ate breakfast.
One sticky Louisiana day, we headed out . . . hoping to catch our dinner. When we arrived to the pasture, I realized very quickly that we were not alone. The pasture was FULL of cows – and they were looking right at me. They were. I promise. I decided that I wasn’t in the mood to fish.
“I still ain’t takin’ no quiz!” he mutters, just loudly enough to make sure I’ll hear, as he throws himself noisily into the seat. I fight to keep calm.
There I stood by the tub with two shivering little girls, cowering in the corner – as if naked and ashamed in the Garden of Eden. The older one became the tearful spokes person as she stammered out their heartfelt question, “Mother, do you still love us?”
New research links certain early, nurturing parenting practices—the kind common in foraging hunter-gatherer societies—to specific, healthy emotional outcomes in adulthood, and has many experts rethinking some of our modern, cultural child-rearing “norms.”
We’re incredibly child-centered, yet I fear we don’t set the expectation that our children assimilate themselves into their larger community. That they adjust themselves to accommodate others; place others’ needs consistently before their own.
We both begin and end our journey in this life as helpless sheep in God’s fold, and certainly, there are critical times of illness or crisis in between in which we might need to be fed and cared for by others.
She has found her voice. Riley is almost two years old and has already drawn some pretty amazing conclusions about what the big world is all about. She recently talked with me about resurrection. I’m not kidding.
Seeing their kids more eager to pray than play video games, most parents would shout, “Hallelujah” or whatever their expression of joy. And they should. Research shows that religion can be a positive force in the lives of children, just as can be for adults.
The way mothers and fathers spend their time has changed dramatically in the past half century. Dads are doing more housework and child care; moms more paid work outside the home. Neither has overtaken the other in their “traditional” realms, but their roles are converging.
Meals were markers in the day, times to talk and laugh and time to enjoy our food. We were not a perfect family, but we ate well together morning and night, left only to fend for ourselves at lunch, whether at school or at work. Breakfast and dinner, however, were not to be eaten alone.
Children learn by example, and parents are their foremost teachers Particularly if you have a tradition of family giving, you should take care to make the gospel of Jesus Christ the main thing, rather than the family legacy.
It didn’t take long for Jacob to discover the water in the font. I merely whispered to him, “This is the baptismal font,” and allowed him to touch the water. It was no surprise that he would want to submerge his hand into the water, but I was not prepared for what would come next.
The challenge parents and the church share is to provide ways for the faith community to be the strongest affiliation in a child’s life where the connections will ‘cement’ or affiliate the child into natural, loving ways of the faith community.
We wondered also how this couple might respond to readings about the conversion of Paul, thinking that these lessons might be a bit strange for expectant parents to meditate on.