| Ihor Zhakunets
The transition to our new family ministry model on Sunday mornings may seem daunting. There is no doubt that for parents, families, and as a church this change will bring about many blessings and opportunities, as well as some challenges. What follows is a list of considerations that we hope will encourage and guide as we take this step together as a church.
We Are In This Together
Having children as young as 5 years old join corporate worship for the extent of the worship service is a significant transition. But we are in this together. This means that as a community we understand that with this transition will come awkward moments, abrupt walkouts, various noises, and even interesting smells. But we are in this together – meaning we expect these things. Being in this together means that we assume both good days and bad days, trial and error, success and failure for both children and parents.
Transitioning Is a Season
Regardless of how quiet and patient, or how loud and energetic your child is, the transition will bring some challenges to the way you as an individual experience corporate worship. Just remember, transition is only a season. Our faithfulness week in and week out will bear fruit. You won’t be fighting the same battles or developing new habits forever. Our kids will adjust and their attention span will grow. It will be a challenging season but it will end.
Don’t Give Up On Engaging
Transitioning your child to corporate worship will add to parents some new obligations. The younger the children the more attention they will require. There is no way around this. But even during the season of transitioning and adjusting don’t give up on engaging in worship. Don’t give up on feeding your soul on the Word – even if it’s not the quiet sit-down dinner you would like – don’t go hungry. This experience will be utterly counterproductive if our children don’t see us enjoying God as we worship him.
Make It a Team Effort
In this transition think about the entire church as a resource. Seek advice from parents with older children, ask for help with unique considerations, support our single parents, and encourage those at the beginning of the process. Let us approach this as a team, as a church, as a body.
This transition is significant but with all the challenges come opportunities to love one another and honor Christ – and all this with our children watching and learning.