Family Worship Guide

It is our joy and privilege to partner with you on the journey of teaching the next generation here at Station Hill. From preschool & children's classes to middle and high school small groups, we strive to provide biblically faithful and relationally rich teaching on a consistent basis. We realize, however, that this is only a small part of the overall discipleship process necessary to build our children into mature members of the Body of Christ.

  • In addition to classes at church, actually attending a worship service on a consistent basis and learning about Christ in the home are of vital importance. It is our hope that this guide will serve as a catalyst for you to connect what children experience in worship to what happens in your home. We trust these helpful tips will encourage you as you engage your children in worship here at church and as you seek to train them up in the Lord.

  • As always, please let us know how we can continue to partner with you on this journey.

    Material adapted with permission from Jason Helopoulos, guest blogger on Kevin DeYoung's blog, posted December 27, 2011 —

  • Focus on this moment throughout the week:

    Talk about Sunday morning worship all week long. Help your children to see that each week begins with this privilege (Acts 20:7; Hebrews 10:24-25).

  • Model excitement about the Lord's Day:

    Children learn a great deal by watching their parents. If Mom and Dad reluctantly go to church, then the children will reluctantly go to church. If Mom and Dad are critical of the preacher, sermon, etc. then the children will most likely be critical. Wake up early on Sunday morning and prepare for worship. Let the children see your joy and excitement.

  • Read the passage during the week:

    Here at Station Hill we provide you the sermon text each Wednesday in the email blast. Take time before Sunday to read the passage aloud at home and talk about it with your children. This will build anticipation for what they will hear and learn on Sunday.

  • Start Early:

    Many believe that it is harder to introduce a five year old to corporate worship then a twelve year old, but this is not true. A five year old is in the formative years of training. They are not yet "set in their ways." A few months of struggling with a four or five year old teaching them how to sit in corporate worship yields benefits for the rest of their lives.

  • Use Moments in the Service:

    Use transitional moments in the service to whisper in your child's ear how much you loved a certain verse in a hymn, how you need to remember to pray for the sick person mentioned, or how you were convicted by that application. It keeps them engaged and allows them to see you participating intently in the service. Children are always told they are the ones who need to listen and learn, so model those behaviors for them and tell them what you are hearing and learning.

  • Use the Obvious Helps:

    We often forget to use the helps that are already available to us. For example: have an older child find the Bible passage or guide your finger over the text as it is read for a younger child.

  • Sit Near the Front:

    Children are easily distracted, so sit near the front where there are fewer distractions.

  • Create an atmosphere in your row:

    Encourage your children to pay attention, to stand when everyone stands, to sing when they are to sing, to bow their heads in prayer when the congregation is to pray, etc.

  • Enlist the Support of Other Members:

    Ask another member to lend a helping hand by sitting with your family. Surround yourself with other families that you have enlisted to provide you encouragement and not to fuss if your child is a little restless. Adopt a 'we are in this together' mentality with other church members, whether or not they have their own children. You may be an encouragement to future parents and you can benefit from the wisdom of those who have gone before you. Support and encourage one another in this journey.

  • Stop Worrying:

    Many parents are concerned about what other parents or members of the congregation think of their parenting skills or how annoyed someone else is with their child's fidgeting during the service. DON'T! Commit as a congregation to welcome children into your services. This means that not only do our children have to adjust, but so do the adults. In reality, it is adults who have to adjust the most! Let's just learn to have a little more tolerance on this front. If a baby is a little fussy, papers are rustling, or a few things are dropping on the floor it is o.k. Children are not a distraction in the Kingdom of God.

  • Affirm Your Children:

    When you leave the service and are on the way home, affirm your children. Ask them questions about the service and relay how the Lord blessed you. Encourage your children if they were wellbehaved and let them know how wonderful it was to worship alongside of them.

  • Be Consistent:

    It will take time for your children to learn how to sit still, sing the hymns, etc. Be consistent in your expectations and desires for them during the service.

  • Do Not Be Overzealous:

    Be patient with your children and shower them with grace. It takes children time to adjust and different children adjust or accept on different time tables. Your child may come into the service and sit attentively and quietly within a few weeks or you may have to help your child with this for months or even years. Be patient! Love them and do not compare them to other children. God has blessed you with this little bundle of joy!