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St. Andrew's Top Tips For Getting Through Church With Kids!

Updated: Jan 7

Getting kids through church is tricky at the best of times....but as you may well know services have changed a lot for the time being. Unfortunately, it is currently not possible for us to sing, hand out activities or snacks, or allow shared toys (creche). We are also unable to allow children to run around the church.


We will continue to stream church online and we really encourage you to join us in the building (by booking on the website) or by watching online.


To help you do that here are our (well, Jo’s, she’s always sat with the children) top tips for getting through church with kids:



Hi!


I’m Jo, married to Dan and I have been bringing my kids solo to church for 13 years. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far, I hope it’s useful. It’s is definitely a set of ideas to be built on, not instructions to follow or rules to break…


TOP TIPS FOR CHURCH IN THE BUILDING:

  1. Think about why you’re here. Our aim isn’t to survive the hour with as few mishaps as possible, it’s about being restored, being spiritually nurtured, and being put back together. It’s about having a moment to say thank you to God, to tell him what you’re worried about, to hold each other in prayer. However we do this, that’s why we’re doing it, so let’s keep that in mind.

  2. Telling your kids to be quiet, which I do a lot, tends to be pretty unproductive. Instead, tell them what they can listen to. Talk about what’s happening. It’s really hard just to stay still and do nothing for an hour, but they can learn to find peace in a space you find peace in, so talk to them about what’s going on. Show them the words you’re reading, or how you sit when you pray. Tell them what you’re praying about. Ask them if there’s anything they want to pray about.

  3. Sit at the front. If you sit at the back, it’s boring for them and you and it’s a lot harder for them to be quiet if it’s boring. If they’re noisy at the front, firstly don’t worry too much, you’ll notice way more than everyone else and secondly, the vicarage three will almost always drown you out…

  4. Choose when you get your activities out. If you get them out straight away, they’ll get bored halfway through the service, but bringing them out halfway means they are more interesting and it also means they can spend some time engaging with the service.

  5. Activities: bring them! Colouring, playdoh, matchbox cars, sticker books are all good. Colouring and paper are especially useful as we often have activities but we are not allowed to share pens, so do bring those. Our advice is to bring different ones each week so they don’t get boring, and if you get them out halfway through the service 

  6. Snacks are also an excellent idea. Our favourite is a sort of trail mix of cheerios and raisins and whatever else is in the cupboard

TOP TIPS FOR CHURCH ONLINE:

  1. Think about why you’re here. Our aim isn’t to survive the hour with as few mishaps as possible, it’s about being restored, being spiritually nurtured, and being put back together. It’s about having a moment to say thank you to God, to tell him what you’re worried about, to hold each other in prayer. However we do this, that’s why we’re doing it, so let’s keep that in mind.

  2. Prepare the space. My friend once said that when she was having her quiet time, or prayer time, she’d clear a space and make herself a cup of tea, just as if she was having a friend round. Make this time a bit special by clearing a space and getting your favourite drinks/ snacks (for us, smoothies and waffles are very popular! As are coffee and coco pops…)

  3. Take part. Sing, pray, joining with the words on the screen and join millions of Christians across the worlds uniting in prayer for each other and the world we live in. And don’t worry too much about what the kids do or don’t take in, but do tell them what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. 

  4. Get activities out. If you choose an activity that you only get out on a Sunday, it can make it a far better distraction than something you have around all the time. 

  5. If it really doesn’t work having church in the morning, why not have it at another time? In the evening, maybe, with tea, or maybe even after the kids have gone to bed. Remember the first point: do this in a way that helps you grow spiritually. Over Easter, Dan and I watched a talk each evening online and it helped us so much to have space to talk about how we felt and how we needed to do things differently. There’s never been a better opportunity to do church whatever else is going on in your life. Now’s a really good time to get what you can out of it

Finally, as they get older, don’t forget to encourage them to listen to the words and pay attention to what goes on around them. They may, in time, want to take part in the band or the readings, to get involved on the tech desk, or in some other way and they are more than welcome to do so. If so come and talk to the Vicar!


And do comment below with your ideas…


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Charity number - 1134129

St. Andrew's Church

Church Road, Hove

BN3 2AD, UK

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Charity number - 1134129