Now that I’m a grandmother, I’m realizing how important it is to start taking your kids to church when they’re little, as young as possible. When you find a church with an active and happy children and youth ministry, your kids will learn early about Jesus and be more likely to stick with it through their adult years.
Taking Your Kids to Church and the Importance of Sunday School
My mom made us kids go to church with her when we were little and I did not like it at all. Even though my father only went on holidays, he always said every Sunday, ‘Listen to your mother and get ready for church!’
I hated it then, but appreciate it today.
There weren’t a lot of kids at the church I grew up in. And we all looked like we wanted to be somewhere else, especially as we got older. The youth ministries left a lot to be desired.
Unfortunately, I had a falling out with the Baptists at a young age and while my kids were very, very young; my son wasn’t even born yet, so I stopped going to church for decades and sadly, never raised my kids in church.
However, Sunday School is still relevant and important, more today than ever before, especially with everything that’s going on in the world. Finding a church with lots of kids and a fun and active children’s ministry gives your kids the Biblical foundation they’ll need in later years.
And if the church you go to has a rich children’s program, and you start taking your kids to church before they can even walk, they’ll know that Sundays are Sunday School days and they’ll actually enjoy going!
What they’ll learn will be the foundation and as they grow up in church, those Bible stories will make more and more sense and they can apply the learnings to their everyday lives.
Even though I didn’t like church as a kid and even less in my adult years, since my mother forced us to go, I did get the basics of Christian life and the Bible stories I learned in Sunday School come back to me now as I read through my Bible.
Take Your Kids to Church With You, Don’t Just Drop Them Off
Parents should set an example for their kids, not just use church as a Sunday babysitting service. Growing up, I still remember seeing church buses picking kids up and taking them home and I used to think – where are their parents? They need Jesus too!
Whatever the kids learn in Sunday School needs to be reinforced at home. But how can parents do that when they don’t even attend Sunday services? The kids come home and want to talk about what they did in Sunday School and what they learned, so who are they going to talk about it with?
Obviously, there are times when one or the other parent just can’t attend due to medical reasons or work obligations. In those cases, possibly a grandparent, older sibling or another family member can attend church while the kids are in Sunday School.
Depending on the church you go to regularly, you may not see the busloads of kids being dropped off since the kids have to be registered with an adult before going back to the Sunday School classes.
I like this idea! It gives parents more of an incentive to go to church as a family.
Reading the Bible with Your Kids
Kids will learn Bible stories in Sunday School so once they learn how to read, it’s a good idea that they have their own Bibles so they can read more about the stories they learn on Sundays.
You can get kids Bibles with nice graphic images in them that help explain some of the more popular Bible stories like Jonah and the Whale, Easter, the birth of Jesus, etc.
Just as adults should be reading their Bibles every day, I believe parents should take some time every day to read the Bible with their kids. This reinforces what they’ve learned on Sundays and gives them a better Christian foundation for later in life.
Keep in mind though, having a kids Bible at home to teach them about Jesus shouldn’t replace taking your kids to church on Sundays but rather should be used as a daily reinforcement of what they learn in church.
Resources for At-Home Kids Bible Studies
In addition to kids Bibles, there are many other resources parents can use to help teach their kids Jesus stories at home, whether it’s because you can’t get to church, haven’t found a good one yet, or just to make sure they’re learning in between Sunday School.
Coloring and activity books are always popular with the little people.
If you grew up with Flannelgraphs at church, you can still buy them and use them at home with your little ones!