Family Worship Guide


Download the Family Worship Guide (PDF)

EASTER SCHEDULE
Easter is the most important celebration of the year for those who believe in Jesus. It’s when we focus on what Jesus did for all people by giving His life on the cross so that we may have life through Him! Please note the following schedule for Holy Week. Children are expected to attend a worship service with their family on Easter Sunday.

March 24
PALM SUNDAY
Regular Schedule

March 28
MAUNDY THURSDAY
6:30-8:00 PM | Worship Center

March 29
GOOD FRIDAY PRAYER EXPERIENCE: PRAYING THE 7 STATIONS OF THE CROSS
4:00-8:00 PM | Atrium

March 31
NO MARKETPlACE
NO LIFE Groups (age 4 and Up)
LIFE Groups (Birth-3 Years) will meet
A special activity will be provided for preschool and elementary age children attending the worship service.

It's our joy and privilege to partner with you on the journey of teaching the next generation here at Brentwood Baptist Church. 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, attending a worship service on a consistent basis and learning about Christ in the home are of vital importance. Whether your child is attending worship because Marketplace isn't meeting or you're simply worshiping as a family at any other time during the year, we trust these helpful tips will encourage you as you engage your children in worship and as you seek to train them up in the Lord.

As always, we look forward to a continued partnership with you on this journey.

Focus on this moment during 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, and more, 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.

Implement family worship at home.

A family that worships together at home will find it much easier to worship together in corporate worship. A child will find it natural to hear the Word of God, to read the Word of God, to sing hymns, and more. This will also help our children learn to sit still, understand the importance of worship, focus during prayer, etc.

Read the passage during the week.

Most sermon series are an exposition of one book of the Bible. This means that you know what you are going to hear read and preached in the week's service-the next passage. Read it throughout the week and converse about it around the dinner table or during family worship. The children will then be familiar with the text the pastor is preaching on. With this knowledge, give them some things to listen for in the sermon.

Start early.

Many believe that it's harder to introduce a 5-yearold to corporate worship then a 12-year-old, but this isn't true. A 5-year-old is in the formative years of training. They aren't yet "set in their ways." A few months of struggling with a 4- or 5-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're the ones who need to listen and learn, so model those behaviors for them and tell them what you're 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's 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, stand when everyone stands, sing when everyone sings, bow their heads in prayer when the congregation prays, 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 whom you've enlisted to provide encouragement and not 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 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's 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's OK. Children aren't a distraction in the kingdom of God.

Affirm your children.

When you leave the service and are on your 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 them.

Be consistent.

It'll 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 worship service.

Don't 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 don't compare them to other children. God has blessed you with this little bundle of joy!

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