Hi Coram Deo Parents! Thank you so much to those of you who filled out our Kids Ministry Survey several weeks ago. We’ve heard you loud and clear that you would love to have more resources to help your kids engage with God’s Word during Sunday services AND at home during the week. Great news! Beginning THIS Sunday, we are excited to be able to provide you with some new resources to do just that. I’ve been testing these tools with my own kids for the past several weeks and I think they are going to be really helpful!
We have created “Younger Elementary” and “Older Elementary” sermon notes activity sheets that are designed to help your children follow along with the sermon at whatever level is most suitable for them. And for those itty bitty ones, a new coloring page will also be available on Sunday. (Parents, please bring your own crayons/pencils/pens).
I’d like to tell you a bit more about these new resources and how we encourage you to use them:
The goal of this activity sheet is to help your child listen by engaging through drawing. Most of the sheet is devoted to giving them space to draw what they hear. On the side, we have key words for them to listen for and tally up as they hear them. There are also a couple of blank spots for parents to add special words to listen for as well as space for the kids to write something they learned about God. Even if your child can’t write yet, this can be a helpful conversation starter that you can use during the ride home from church, over dinner that night, or any other time during the week! This is also a great way for you to share with your kids what YOU learned during the sermon and to model for them what it looks like to actively engage with God’s Word.
The goal of this activity sheet is to encourage engaged listening through note taking. This may be a new skill for your child. We’ve provided lines and numbers to help them organize their notes while listening to the sermon. As a mom, I’ve found this feature to be very helpful because it also gives me the ability to peak over and make sure my child is paying attention and following along with the main points of the sermon. There’s also a small section for them to draw a picture of what they hear, allowing for some creativity!
A couple of my favorite parts of this worksheet are the “Questions/I Want to Know More About” and “The Main Thing I Learned Today” sections. These spaces provide GREAT segues for at-home discussions with your kids! You might be surprised what your kids are interested in hearing more about as you discuss what God taught them during the sermon. And best of all, you can model how to actively engage with God’s Word by sharing what YOU learned!
How to Use These Activity Sheets
First, they only work if you use them. Just like anything else, habits take time and intentionality to form. Some of you already have Sunday morning rhythms that work well for your family and perhaps a simple chat with your kids is all that’s needed to help them use these new tools. For others, (my family included!), it can be helpful to sit down together and talk about what Sunday morning will look like and what our expectations are. With my kids, I’ve found that it helps to give them a voice. Their hearts are worshipping just like mine! Coming up with a plan as a family will help your kids engage in the process. It also might be helpful to walk them through how to fill out the worksheets before coming to worship on Sunday.
As you work to teach your kids, be patient! It might be several weeks before you see real fruit from these sermon note sheets, and that’s ok! As your family builds new habits and rhythms, they will learn more and more. (Bonus! Parents are going to be getting Advent devotionals on Sunday as well, so everyone can be excited for new ways to worship this week!)
Give Us Feedback
We want to make sure these resources are as helpful as they can be! To help us achieve that goal, we would love to hear YOUR feedback on your family’s experience as you use these activity sheets as well as suggestions for how we could tweak them to be more helpful. You can send us feedback directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since we’ll be testing/iterating with your feedback, for now we will be providing these sheets on Sundays as individual pages. You can grab them each Sunday or print them ahead of time. (Pro Tip: make sure to bring a clipboard or something for the kids to write on!) In the coming months, we hope to provide actual books for your kids to have and use each week.
We hope these new resources will bless your families as you come together for worship on Sunday mornings. We know that having your kids with you in the sanctuary isn’t easy. We know that it isn’t convenient. We also know that your kids are doing an amazing job and our whole congregation is blessed to worship beside them.
Stay tuned for part two: resources to take home to assist your family in weekly discipleship—coming soon!
We love you, Coram Deo, and we love your kids!