When I say “over-churched kids,” you know the kids that I’m speaking of. These are many times the pastor’s kids, but also key volunteers/leader’s kids who are always at church—for every service!!
As a father and a pastor, one of my concerns for my children is that they do not become burned out at church or bitter towards God. I want my children to love and serve God with passion and enjoy being at church. Here are a few things we have done to guard against burn out:
1. Give children meaningful responsibility. It’s one thing to give children a task and it’s quite another to give them one that really counts. At times we have children do headcounts, disinfect toys, lead children in games and assist with crafts. We have even allowed children to lead lessons and help with some important safety items. The only things we will not allow children to do on their own is when it involves the safety of other children, however they can help.
2. Allow children to relax. If you have room for a lounge, it’s okay if they relax, play a video game, watch a movie, eat some snacks, etc. For some reason we feel that children must be in a church service at all times if they’re on campus. I would definitely allow my children to take a service to chillax than get burned out on church services.
3. We make them feel important. Every child is important, but I admittedly go beyond with this for those kids who are always at church. The truth is that sometimes they are excited to be at church and sometimes they are not for any amount of reasons. One thing is for sure, they get a little more attention, a bigger hug and more grace, especially come the fourth or fifth service.
4. If it’s appropriate, allow them to sit in on the adult service. As long as the service content is dad or mom approved, I have no problems with them sitting in the adult service. You can never go wrong with children watching adults worship and “amening” the preacher in agreement.
5. I get the opportunity to participate in the adult services. As a children’s pastor I definitely take advantage of this. It’s not uncommon for me to bring one of my five kids on stage with me. This totally makes their day. They feel extremely special to get that opportunity. It’s a great open door for me to talk about my responsibilities as a pastor and challenge them to “step up” when they’re in kid’s church.
Talk back…what are some things you do to help “over-churched” kids?