Why do we welcome children in our worship service?
We, here at First Presbyterian of Stanley, highly encourage families to worship together. During our 10:15 AM worship service, we offer a nursery class for children from birth through age 3. We know and understand that before the age of 3, they are physically not capable of learning all of the in's and out's of worship without being a complete distraction to those who are trying to worship around them. We encourage parents to take advantage of the safe place we offer for these littlest children to play and be loved during this time.
Beginning with the age of 3, we encourage our parents to bring their children in to worship for the first half of the service. We offer a "Children's Message" before the sermon which is a perfect chance to allow them to go down to the front, be taught a litte truth on their level, and then be escorted back out to the nursery (if you so wish). Working a child in to worship is a great way to BEGIN to teach them how to be respectful in God's house and how to listen. By the time that their fourth birthday rolls around, they are champs at worship and are ready to stay with their family for the entire service.
Our Children's Ministry Coordinator offers a FREE book entitled, "Parenting in the Pew". We highly suggest you read this book before you begin to teach your child how to worship. It will offer excellent tips and let's be honest - when you have a plan and goal - life works out so much better!
Our CM Coorindator is also happy to meet with you and sit with you, if you are struggling to teach your child how to worship. Just give Lauren a call to plan ahead. The only shame is when you fail to ask for help.
Worshipping Christ is a command. There is no better way to fulfill that command then as a family unit!
Tips on teaching children how to worship:
1) Relax. God put the wiggle in children. There will be a small amount of squirming as they figure out how to sit quietly. It's totally ok for them to draw and color. They are usually listening as they are doing this!
2) As awkward as it seems at first, sit towards the front of the Sanctuary. Children listen more easily when they can use all of their senses to observe what is going on.
3) Quietly explain the parts of the service. Sing and pray! Children will learn by your example.
4) If your child has a bad day (they ALL do) or is still struggling to learn, we encourage you to take them to our Parlor (first room on the left as you exit Sanctuary). This is a room where they will not feel free to play but to sit quietly. Sometimes taking an older child (who should be learning better) to a classroom to play is a treat. We encourage you to go to the Parlor so that your child will realize that it's better to stay and learn to worship in the Sanctuary where they can see and experience God, than it is to sit in a boring old room with Mom while the other folks get to experience worship. Mom's and Dad's can alternate weeks until the lesson takes hold. As a single Mom, Ms. Lauren is also understanding and would be glad to help any single parents accommplish this.
5) After each service, make a point to look in to your 4 or 5 year old's eyes (even older children love to do this) and ask them what they learned about God during the worship service. You can ask them what the Pastor spoke about. Children love to have your full attention and if they know you are going to ask them a 'review" question, they will more likely be willing to pay attention themselves.