It is Sunday morning, and you are scrambling to get your kids ready for church. Finally, everyone is seated and ready for worship to begin…on your couch. Surprisingly, no one is paying attention. How do you get your kids to focus for online worship??
How to get your kids to take church at home seriously? We may be worshipping at home rather than physically with our church family for many reasons. Occasionally, snow days will cancel church services.
Other times, we are traveling on vacation and want to still worship with our home church on Sunday morning. Perhaps sickness is what is keeping your family at home. Whatever the reason, we have to be intentional to help our children get spiritually ready for online church.
Whatever reason keeps you from being physically at church, you have conquered the biggest first hurdle by making worship a priority. It is easy to take a vacation from church, but that choice has powerful negative effects. When you prioritize worshipping with other Christians, even when it is challenging to do so, you show your kids the immense value of worship!
We know how powerful it is to keep ourselves and our children connected with other Christians to sing God’s praises and to hear teaching from His word. Are you then frustrated even more with the reality that your kids aren’t taking it seriously and aren’t paying attention? Yes, they squirm when you are at church, but not this bad!
Discover 5 key strategies to get kids to focus for online worship. You can get your family on the same page for home worship! Prepare to welcome the Holy Spirit to fill your home with an atmosphere of worship.
#1 Mom and Dad have to Both Commit to Church Online
Parents, you set the tone in your home. You have to be committed to having real family worship at home. The first key to getting your kids to focus for online worship is for both parents to be committed to setting aside this time to worship.
If you are just going through the motions because you feel obligated to listen to the sermon online – your kids will see right through it! You have to be fully committed to the power of family worship and committed to overcoming the obstacles to making it happen.
Mom and Dad need to be a united team. If one parent is just going along, the kids will know it. Both parents need to be active in getting the family reading and setting the tone of worship. If both parents are not believers, this might not be possible.
You may not be a leader at church. You might not usually teach or lead prayers. There are lots of things you have had to do as a parent that you had not done before. It is vital for your children’s spiritual health that you stretch out of your comfort zone to lead your family.
#2 Adjusting to New Routines is Hard, Even Online Church
It is hard to adjust to new routines. Routines are valuable, for all ages, to help us prepare and get our minds ready for our tasks. You can get your kids to focus for online church better with a special routine.
We have routines for getting ready for school. We have routines for going to bed. These habits are valuable for helping our children mentally, physically, and emotionally get through the day.
We have worship routines. We get dressed up for church. Often, we attend Sunday School before worship.
The physical act of entering into our worship space is also a part of our routine to prepare ourselves for worship. Greeting friends and singing with others helps to prepare our hearts to be in a worshipful mood.
Setting those new routines in the same space where we watch tv, eat, play, and relax is strange. It might be harder for kids to recognize that God is also in that space. It might be harder for them to enter into a time of worship without establishing new routines.
#3 Physically & Mentally Prepare Kids to Focus for Online Worship
What might those new routines look like at home? There are several steps that we can take to help our children physically and mentally prepare for online church and to get them to take online worship seriously.
Do you normally dress us for church?
If so, dress up at home. Yes, you can put on a shirt and tie at home. Definitely change out of your pajamas! The right clothes can help kids to focus for online worship.
Even at home, we are preparing to create a sanctuary in our home and welcome the presence of God. Get dress for the occasion! Even just changing into real clothes can help them physically get ready to pay attention.
Do you normally have the Lord’s Supper each Sunday?
If so, gather and set up our communion supplies before worship. Don’t scramble to gather things during the service and break the mood of your home worship.
You don’t have to have the exact same supplies that you might have at church. Communion can be celebrated even with just bread and water.
Silence your Electronics!
You might be watching on one screen, but make sure all of the other screens are silenced and put away. At church, we are often reminded to silence our phones when service begins.
Remember to silence your phones at home as well. Put all the phones away to help everyone focus.
Face it. Most of us are addicted to our phones. If you want your kids to kids to focus for online worship, you must be intentional with putting the other electronics away.
Choose Your Screen Wisely
Watching on a computer is better than watching on a phone because it is more immersive for everyone. Watching on the television screen is even better!
But what if your service is life streaming on Facebook or the computer, how do you get it on the screen? We use an HDMI cable to connect our phone right to the television.
Before worship, make sure your space is picked up and free from distractions. If you wanted your child to focus on their school work, you would make sure their space was free from distraction. Worship is so much more important than schoolwork!
Pick up your worship space so that it feels clean and ready. Put away the clutter. Put away any toys that might draw your children’s attention.
Pay attention to what you hear and see in the space. If your pets are distracting, then close them in another room during worship time. Do you need to close the curtains or arrange your furniture so that your children are not distracted by what is out the window?
#4 Create a Worship Space at Home for Online Church
We know that God is everywhere, but sometimes we need help to feel God’s presence. Sometimes we need help to prepare our hearts to worship. To help our kids to focus for online worship, we can create a worship space.
Choose a Wise Space
Choose a wise space to help your children take worshipping at home seriously. Don’t pile into bed for morning worship. Choose an area that we can use to set a better tone.
The most natural place to gather our families for worship at home is on the couch in front of a television set. In worship, do your children lounge on the pew or in the chairs? No, they sit up so that they are better able to pay attention. Train your children to sit up as well for online church.
What if they are struggling to pay attention and to listen? Have them sit on the floor in front of the couch. Or bring in chairs to sit in front of the sofa.
Remember, our physical positions are a part of how we are used to worshipping. Leave space to stand and sing just like you would if you were physically at your church building as well. Use your seating wisely to help your kids focus for online worship.
Create a Focus Table
Pull in a TV tray and a small table. Dress it up with a table cloth. Then, create a focus table for worship.
Do you have a Bible that you could place there? Perhaps this where you will put your communion.
Use the objects that remind you of your worship space to serve a physical reminder throughout the online service that your living room is actually a sanctuary for this time.
Light a Candle
Throughout the Bible, God’s people use candles as a part of worship. There is something about candles that help us to center and focus on listening to God.
Even if you have nothing else to use to create a focus table, choose a candle to represent the Light of the World in your midst. Candlelight can help kids to focus for online church.
Give Everyone a Bible
You may carry your Bibles to worship, or there might be Bibles in your sanctuary for you to use. Gather Bibles before worship for each child to have or share. Bibles are a physical reminder that we gather together to hear a word from God.
Don’t use your phones. It is so easy for you and your children to get distracted by other things on the phone. Have physical copies of the Bible for your family.
#5 Be Vulnerable in Worship
Dear parents, you are going to need to be vulnerable and real in worship. Worship might be awkward and uncomfortable at first. Just dive in and do it.
You might feel totally comfortable singing at church. Everyone is singing, and you don’t think anything about it. Yet, at home, it feels weird.
Some families sing at home. Some DO NOT sing at home. Christians are singing people. You need to break the ice and get the whole family signing – even if you can’t carry a tune.
I’m serious – you need to sing. Worship is just a performance if we are watching other people sing and it doesn’t feel quite real. You may feel like the family above but you are not. Just sing!
Push past the awkwardness and get your family singing if you really want to bring the worship service alive and to make it real in your home. Singing is a powerful way to help your kids to focus for online worship.
Pray Before Worship
Before worship begins, pray aloud for your family and over your family. You don’t have to be a spiritual giant to pray.
Your children will not be grading the quality of your prayer. They will simply remember that this was so important that Dad chose to pray over us. Prayer is a great way to set the tone and help kids to take worship at home seriously.
Talk to Your Kids
Worship isn’t a movie that we watch and then go about the rest of our day. Use this time together to talk to your kids. What did they remember from the service? What was their favorite song?
Talk about the sermon. What were the main ideas? Were ideas confusing? Talking about the sermon is a habit to keep even when you are back at church because it helps us remember and apply God’s word.
You can’t hide behind the pastor when you are worshipping at home. You have to pay attention to the sermon. You have to engage in the worship time.
The eyes of your children are on you. They may have never paid attention to you worshipping in church before because there was so much more to pay attention too. If you focus and take worship seriously, then it is much more likely you will get your kids to focus for online worship.
Don’t hide your faith from your children. Faith is more than just what we believe in our heads and hearts. Faith should move us.
Use Worship at Home as a Faith Catalyst
Rather than just making do until you can actually go to church again, worship at home through online church has the power to deeply grow the spiritual connections in your family.
When we are at church, it takes time to train our children to behave in worship and then to actually attend to worshipping. The same will be true at home. It will take time, but then when vacation rolls around, a snow day comes, or illness strikes – they will remember how to worship God where ever they are!
Research shows that parents are the most powerful spiritual influencers on their children. Much more powerful than their pastor, Sunday School teacher, or youth pastor. Worshipping together at home through online worship is an opportunity for you as a parent to grow into your God-given role.
When we are learning anything new, it can be awkward at first. Keep going, and you will be so thankful for how God uses this time to grow your family closer together and closer to God
The voice behind FaithfulMotherhood.com is Jyn. She is a veteran homeschool mom of three. More than just a pastor’s wife, she holds a Master of Divinity degree and has served in church leadership for over 20 years. Her passion is equipping parents to live out their calling as the number one faith influencer for their children. She longs to see moms empowered by God’s Word and transferring that love to their children through daily Bible study and family devotions.