In my short five years of parenting multiple children in the pew I have had some successes and many failures.
The magic formula for getting all my kids to sit still in worship must have missed my mailbox somehow. I’ve struggled.
I have read the books, been to the seminars and searched the blogs but my kids are as unique as snowflakes and no one book is one size fits all.
Nothing is a one size fits every child so I have learned up on my kids, prayed for wisdom, watch other families and taken pieces from the books, blogs and seminars.
Parenting in the pew will be a twenty some year journey for us. We only have five years under our belt so we are really just beginning.
This journey is different for everyone because we are different parents raising different children. What your children need in the pew will look differently from what it has looked like for my family.
You should know that although my husband may be present next to me, my husband is at work on Sunday morning so this makes our parenting in the pew journey a little unique and challenging for me as I try to parent without my greatest and favorite partner in life.
You should also know I am fairly new at church. I’ve been a Christian for almost ten years now and a parent for five of those years.
I joke that something in the worship service always seems new to me. Songs, scriptures, liturgy. So just because I am married to a man involved in the service does not make me any more equipped to handle those surprise curve balls.
Both the newness of church and my husband being at work bring uniqueness to my parenting in the pew story.
I just want to share with you in hopes to encourage you and see that I too am walking alongside you in this journey.
First, you should know and it helps to remember: This is a journey.
Once I think I have it figured out, something changes. A curve ball is always being thrown. As soon as I figure out the pitching pattern the curve ball comes. For me, it is important to expect the curve ball.
And then…when I swing and miss the curve ball I remind myself: This is a journey and next week I’ll have another at bat.
It also helps to think of this journey as a journey of training worshippers. For me the main objective is not to have quiet and still children. The objective is to train worshippers.
Every journey has a destination. My objectives for training worshippers simply function as the destination. The objectives function as the “where we are headed” on this journey of parenting in the pew.
I have two main objectives for training my children to be worshippers and like any good teacher I use the objectives to shape how I teach them on each and every Sunday morning.
When I started thinking about my objectives and this journey of parenting in the pew I simply thought about what I want my children to do in worship five years from now, ten years from now and even twenty plus years from now.
What do I want to see my children doing independently at the end of the journey?
I can’t wait to share my objectives with you tomorrow. I have written over two thousand words about this journey so I have broken everything up into three pieces.
Come back tomorrow for Part Two: What Helps