A few weeks ago, I ran into one of our church members at Lowe’s. They began by stating how sorry they were for not being at church last weekend. They explain that another function conflicted with church and they had to miss. But they were very thankful that we have our sermons online for them to watch in case they are not able to attend. They were right. Online sermons and online worship experiences are a great way for families to stay connected when they are away for a weekend. There have been countless times in my life when I have been away from home that I rely on online worship services to help keep me fed while I am away.
Then it hit me… What about our kids? How do our kids stay fed while we are on the go? The reality is when parents miss a worship weekend so do our kids. While parents can stay “caught up” via video, our kids could miss the most when we miss church. They miss their large group and their small groups. So, how can we ensure our kids don’t miss the most when we miss church?
1. Remembering that church isn’t a replacement for home. If you’re reading this blog, you most likely agree. The local church was never intended to be a replacement for home discipleship. To say it another way, what happens at church is not more important than what happens in the home. Our desire at FBCJAX (and many other churches) is to help parents restore their home as the primary arena for discipleship in the lives of their kids. Church programs or ministries should never replace family worship and discipleship. So how can we ensure that our kids don’t miss the most when we miss? By having regular faith conversations at home.
2. Read Scripture and Pray: Try not to overcomplicate it. Grab your favorite Bible, read a few passages, talk about what it means, then pray over them and with them. In case you don’t have a Bible you enjoy reading, here are a few good options.
- Preschool & Children: The Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook from The Gospel Project: Click HERE to purchase
- Children: The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones :Click HERE to purchase
- Students: ESV Student Study Bible: Click HERE to purchase
- Adults: ESV Study Bible: Click HERE to purchase
3. Attend another church: When you’re away, find a local church and visit. Although rare, my family loves to visit other churches when we are away. We love to worship with believers who do church different than us. It’s also a great experience for our kids to show them that there is not one right way to do church.
4. Use the Parent Cue App: Over a year ago, our church partnered with the Parent Cue App to help us equip parents. The parent Cue simply gives parents a blueprint for how to have faith conversations with your kids. You can read more about how to use the Parent Cue, HERE.
5. Have a conversation about what they are thankful for and why. Don’t overthink this one. Every night (well… almost every night) we gather our boys around their beds and ask them what are they thankful for. Sometimes they give one word, off the wall answers. Other times they give dissertations about God’s greatness. Then we pray and thank God for all that He has provided and for who He is. Even if you’re not able to be at church you are able to have Gospel conversations.
6. Perform a Random Act of Kindness: Sometimes it’s not what you hear it’s what you do that means the most. No matter where you are, you find someone to serve as a family. Here are some ideas; pay for someone’s laundry at a coin laundry, pick up trash at a public place, hand out bottles of water or ask someone if you can pray for them.
Here are just a few suggestions, what are some ways that you ensure your kids don’t miss out even when you miss church?