Every once in a while at Five Oaks, we have what we call, "Family Worship Weekends". During these weekends, we close our regularly scheduled programming for the 1st-5th graders and ask them to join their families in the Worship Center. This weekend, we will be holding these services.
Now, I know the habit that says, "my kids have to come to church with me? I won't get anything out of service. Let's just stay home!" I know, because I've been there. I have chosen to miss out on the experience and opportunity to share the service I attend, with my kids. I want to take a minute to encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and to also give you a few ideas on how to maximize this time with your kids.
First, talk about it before hand with them. Let them know they will be joining you and what the expectations of that time will be. Be sure to set expectations that are realistic to your child's specific age and needs. Give them an order of service so they know what to expect and when. We have this available to them on the back of the sermon notes provided. It will allow them to check off where we are at in the service time.
Next, make a game plan. If you have little ones who may need a snack, or something to color, be ready with needed supplies. One idea I have found successful with my 7 year old, is that the night before service, I have her pack a bag that contains her Bible, a pencil, paper and a small snack. She is within the age that service might become a little long for her and having just these few items will help keep her occupied and engaged a bit longer. Also, if you have a 1st-4th grader, during the worship time, have them listen for the song that they have been learning in their classroom and have them sing it out loudly!
Lastly, we have provided for your kids special sermon notes just for them! Have them bring their favorite set of colored pencils and grab a sermon notes sheet from the worship center. Take a moment before service starts to read over the questions with them so they know what they need to be listening for. Also, help them find the book of 1st Corinthians and mark it so they can easily find it when the time to listen has begun. After service, they can bring their filled out sermon notes to the Welcome Desk in The Tree House Children's Wing, show us their notes, and receive a small prize. They will get to take their notes home with them, and be sure to go over the notes with them. There are specific questions to discuss at home together as a family.
We look forward to having the families in service together and we pray that you will find this time fruitful for your family. This is such a great time to model the response stations to your children, to take communion together and light a candle to pray for the light of Christ to shine in someone else's life.
Next week we will resume our normal scheduled programming!
See you in service! *Rhiannon*