Skip to main content

January 25, 2022
Jon and Pam Scott

We believe that, as parents, we are primarily responsible for the spiritual development of our kids. Being active in our local church body has always been a priority for our family, but it hasn’t always been easy.

We wanted our kids to enjoy being “in church”, to learn how to worship corporately, and to make a habit of Sunday worship. As parents, we tried to be proactive and set priorities for our family rather than be reactive and let the kids set our priorities. Here are some of our experiences and suggestions that we know Pastor Scott would support.

Preparing for Sunday morning would ideally begin on Saturday (or even earlier). Establishing routines for kids is always helpful, and readying them for church was no exception. We tried to talk about what to expect the next day and make sure we got enough rest (mostly for the parents). We also talked about what time we needed to be ready to go in the morning. Prayer was an essential part of our preparation. We made it a point to pray with our kids at bedtime, and on Saturday night, we would ask God to prepare each of our hearts for Sunday and to meet us in worship. As the years went on, we had to make decisions about protecting Sundays for worship and that meant foregoing things like club soccer. It was difficult at the time to make some of those choices, but looking back, we are glad we did.

Pastor Tom Zobrist shared on this topic to our men at the last Chalk Talk Grille Night. He shared that his son Ben, who became a World Series MVP, did not play on travel teams when they played on Sunday. According to Pastor Zobrist, “If your child is really THAT talented, they won’t need to play on Sunday, and if your child is not that talented, no amount of playing on Sunday will make a difference. In the meantime, by skipping out on worship, you as a parent have revealed your priorities.”

Just getting to church on Sunday morning was sometimes a challenge. We had our share of nuclear meltdowns in the van (and the kids had some of their own, too). It often helped to institute some quiet time in the van and pray that God would meet us that morning.

The pastors at East White Oak have encouraged kids to be in the worship service, but sometimes it was a bit unnerving to bring our unpredictable kids with us. Like many parents, we felt like everyone noticed every little sound our kids made. One thing we do not recommend is to give your kids wrapped mints to keep them quiet. One Sunday, we handed mints out mid-sermon only to listen to a symphony of simultaneous crackling wrappers and mint slurping. We recommend unwrapping them at home. Our experience was that the folks around us were not bothered by our children’s noises as much as we were. Of course, if our children got out of hand, we would make a quick exit.

To help our kids engage during the worship service, we encouraged them to sing, follow along in their Bibles, and take some form of notes when they were old enough to write. This included things like drawing a picture of something they heard during the sermon, writing down a word that they heard but didn’t understand, or copying a key verse from the passage.

During Sunday lunch, we would often talk about what we all learned in our Sunday School class, admire any crafts, and discuss what we remembered from the worship service. As the kids grew older, we would use the questions that the pastors published in the bulletin to initiate a conversation. It is amazing what we parents can learn from our kids.

Sometimes we were embarrassed by our kids’ antics, and we certainly made our share of mistakes in parenting, but we decided early to make it a priority to include our kids in corporate worship. Even when they were in high school, we made a point to sit together as a family to minimize distractions and reinforce the idea that we were in church to hear from God and to worship Him.

There are a lot of great resources for parents out there, in addition to Scripture. We gleaned a lot of wisdom and encouragement from Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Age of Opportunity by Tedd and Paul Tripp, and Parenting in the Pew by Robbie Castleman.

Jon has served as the class leader for Acts 2:42 ABF, a Deacon, and in the music ministry. Pam serves in the nursery and on the Women’s ministry team. They have four children and one grandchild. Jon taught Physics at the high school level for 30 years and now works as a content developer for UWorld, a provider of review materials for a wide range of medical and scientific exams. Pam teaches fifth grade at Cornerstone Christian Academy.

February OakLeaf Articles:

Preparing for Sunday Worship by Pastor Scott Boerckel
Sunday Worship as Outreach by Pastor Justin Waples
Worship, It’s Good for the Soul by Pastor Jeff VanGoethem
Music in Worship by Paul Jones
Worship from the Psalms by Craig Nelson
Parenting In the Worship Service by Jon and Pam Scott
What I Miss About Physically Gathering for Worship by Janet Schlagel

Return to February Oak Leaf