Who doesn’t love a free sample?
We can sample albums by listening to snippets of songs before we buy the whole thing.
Grocery stores hand out samples of tons of different foods, to help sell those foods, but also so you’re more familiar with that food when you buy it.
Companies offer free samples of makeup or lotion or hair products or whatever their product is.
I’m not suggesting you just sample church. I am suggesting that you ask your pastor or church secretary for worship samples before Sunday. Call or email and ask what the Bible readings and hymns or songs will be the next Sunday. Then, break out the Bible during the week and read at least one of the readings as a family each day so come Sunday, one of those readings will be familiar and capture your littles’ attention. Hop on YouTube or Spotify or your music player of choice and search for the songs and give them a listen. Maybe a chorus or melody will stick in your kids’ minds and you might just hear some extra voices in the pew on Sunday.
I’ll be honest with you, getting the information from your church will be the easy part. In my experience, many parents find it difficult and even intimidating to incorporate these kinds of faith-building activities into everyday life. So, would it help to have a few practical tips to make this happen?
· If you get three readings from your church for Sunday, read one each day as part of your kids’ bedtime routine. Or, just choose one of the readings instead for extra repetition and more familiarity.
· Do a family devotion at breakfast or dinner (a time you’re all together) using the reading. It can be as simple as reading the Scripture and asking a few questions like, “What do you think this reading is about?” “Who are the characters in this story?” (And for older kiddos), “What is God teaching us in this lesson?” “What does this tell us about Jesus?” Close with a short prayer, something like, “Lord, thank you for this day and for Your Word. Help us to take it to heart and live as your children today. Thank you for sending Jesus for us. Amen.” Start to finish, this might take you all of 10 minutes.
· Choose a verse to focus your family on during the week from the readings. Write it on the bathroom mirror or their bedroom mirrors with window markers. Write it on a sticky note and put it in older kids’ backpacks or lunch bags. Say it throughout the day for littles who aren’t reading yet.
· Create a playlist with the songs for the week on your music player (Spotify, Pandora, whatever).
· Play the playlist, or just choose one song to focus on for the week, at different points during the day like playtime or mealtimes.
· If you have the technology, consider playing the song(s) in the car as you run errands together.
Remember, kids thrive on repetition and do well with routine and familiarity! And bonus, those words will be etched in your heart and mind, too! One last thought to encourage you here – the earlier you start to work faith-building activities into the fabric of your family, the more natural it will feel.
Give your kids a taste of what worship will be!