on the comment made by Kim in the previous post, regarding "key words": This is a technique The Papa used with the boys to bridge the time when they're too old to just sit drawing pictures but can't really take notes yet. Once they were old enough to read a few words (or recognized them once they'd been read to them), he would ask our pastor on Saturday for 5-7 key words expected to be in Sunday's sermon and he would print them in their notebook. During the sermon, they were to listen closely and put a tally mark under each word each time they heard it, including in any of the hymns, which are often chosen to complement the message. Obviously this was not too taxing for a beginning reader, as the only effort was listening and writing straight marks on the page. But it was amazing how this focused them and kept their minds from wandering, afraid they'd miss one! A couple of times they came up with more tally marks than their dad!
Another thing we do when the schedule allows: as we're finishing dinner on Monday evening, Papa asks questions to start a discussion about the sermon. It's easy to tell who's been paying attention and who's been dreaming about dinner...it's hard to bluff your way through more than a couple questions. It's a way to focus our minds and hearts on the portion of God's word that was opened to us the day before and really feast on it, and it holds the kids accountable for what they're absorbing.
Feel free to share more of YOUR ideas for making worship meaningful with children or teens...
Labels: Church, Family