Bored Parents, Bored Children


Pastor Danny Hyde on why some children are bored in public worship

Another practical point you need to consider is that the greatest stumbling block for your children in worship is not that they are bored or because nothing is “at their level,” but that you as their parents do not convey in words and deeds that your cherish holy worship. Keep this saying in mind: worship is better caught than taught. What does this mean?  It means that our children learn by participating in worship more than by our explanations of worship. Therefore your children feel the difference between duty and delight. They will pick up from you a dour attitude if you have a dour attitude. They will come  to believe that worship is not important if you do not show them it is important. As a parent, you are the greatest example to your children of the meaning and value of worshipping the Lord. Having your children with you in worship allows them to be taught about by what they have caught in worship as their eager eyes watch you model this Lord’s Day after Lord’s Day…You must love to worship your God so that your children will learn to love him through the liturgy [order of serve] your church utilizes. After all, you cannot preach what you do not possess or have not first preached to yourself.

I have nine children ranging in ages from 1 to 17. I have a tenth child on the way in December. I have been getting kids ready for church, getting them into various vehicles, walking with them into church, rounding them up before worship, sitting with them in worship, and watching them after worship for over fifteen years. I know how hard Sunday mornings can be, especially when there are little ones. How can a parent maintain joy, wonder, and gratitude when Sunday mornings can be so difficult?

The answer, as usual, is faith. As parents we must believe that the most important and beneficial event in our lives and the lives of our children is Sunday morning worship. No matter how messy, tired, and hard getting there and being there is, God meets us and our children on Sunday mornings in a way he does not during the week.  Our spiritual lives depend upon Sunday mornings as our physical lives depend upon food. We need it. And God is worthy of our time, attention, and effort and that of our children’s. He is the one who made us, saved us through His Son, and makes us holy through His Spirit. While we know this from Monday through Saturday, Sunday morning reminds us Who we worship and why. If we believe and make our lives conform to these two great truths, that God meets us in worship and he is worthy of our worship, then we will find ourselves teaching our children not just by words but more importantly by our example that worship is a delight.