One of our main goals in life is to help our children and other young people to become Christians who are faithful to God's Word and active in His kingdom, the church. We want to "bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Eph 6:4). We want them to know the joy of knowing, serving, and worshiping the Lord. Our children should be taught why we worship, how we worship, and how to make our worship most effective. Parents, grandparents, and friends will be the most important influences on our young people in their worship. Here are a few ideas that will help us train our children to be good worshiper.
1. SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
Children need to see your worship and the joy it brings to your life. You need to come to the worship assemblies regularly with an attitude of joy and anticipation-not with a sense of drudgery or obligation. You need to sing, bow in prayer, listen intently to the sermon, give joyfully, and partake of the Lord's Supper meditatively. Children will follow your example, so set the right kind.
2. PREPARE THE CHILD
Before Sunday, talk to your child about how to act in the assembly. Tell the child why we pray, sing, give, partake of the Lord's Supper weekly, and listen to a sermon. As you would in preparing him for school, make sure the child gets enough rest the night before to be awake and alert Sunday.
3. INVOLVE THE CHILD
When singing, help him locate the page of the song. With your finger on his book, point to the words as we sing. Encourage your child to sing even though he may not always sing the right words. When the sermon is delivered, help the child locate the Scriptures cited and/or encourage him to write them down. This impresses upon the child the importance of paying attention. It also stresses that worship is active and not passive.
4. AVOID DISTURBANCES
Make sure that your child has gone to the restroom and for a drink of water before the worship service begins. Traffic in and out of the auditorium during worship is both unnecessary (with but a few exceptions) and disruptive to the worship of many.
5. SIT UP TOWARD THE FRONT
Don't follow the natural tendency to sit in the back so that the child does not disturb others. Think positively. Sit close to the front so that your child can see and hear what is happening. You'll be amazed at how much better he will behave when you sit toward the front, and how much more meaningful worship will be to you, too.
6. FOLLOW THROUGH
Reinforce your child's learning by discussing various aspects of the worship period afterwards.
7. BE PATIENT
Children will not act like adults, but with patience and love, they can be taught to love God and worship Him from the heart.
This process will take time, but it will be time well spent. The time to begin is now, regardless of how young your child is.
By Lester Kamp
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