Last Sunday morning, I’m on stage getting ready for a run through of our worship set and this is what comes out of my mouth: “Okay guys, let’s talk through “Broadcast” first. Drums, you start us off, then after two 8’s the lead guitar will come in – HEY! Do NOT poke your brother with those drumsticks! – everyone else join in after that first half of the lead line…” *Sigh* I love my little boogers, but man they make it hard to focus on my Worship Leader role sometimes. Do you know what I mean?
My husband is the Creative Director for our church and I am the Worship Leader. When we arrive early Sunday morning, both of us are immediately running here, there, and everywhere prepping for the services. So of course, our two little one’s are in tow. They sit out in the seats and watch the entire rehearsal before their double dose of kid’s class.
Let’s face it; that makes it hard to focus. Not to mention, I’m expecting a LOT from a 6 year old and a 2 year old. I really do want my boys to love church like I love church. I also want to serve my church in my Worship Leader role to the best of my ability.
How can we ease the tension, moms (dads too)? Here are a few things that have helped me:
- It’s okay to ask for help. It’s hard for me to ask others for help sometimes, but in this situation it has made things so much better! My wonderful, amazing parents take my boys after the morning services and watch them for the rest of the day since we have night services too. I love this because my kiddos don’t have to spend all day at church but they still get the experience. This also helps my husband and I focus on our church duties. Before the services start, there is an awesome volunteer (my kids LOVE her and call her aunt Julie) who is always right there to help me keep an eye on them. I am forever grateful to her!!!
- Practice self-control and sitting still at home. I am serious when I tell you, as impossible as it seems, this training will pay off big time. Once or twice a week (more often for my smaller guy) I have my boys sit in a chair and hold still. I tell them this is how we practice being in control of our bodies and waiting patient. Waiting patient is HARD. Being a squirmy kiddo and holding still is HARD. Make it fun and rewarding for your kids to learn good habits.
- Honor your church’s kid rules. By following the rules that everyone is expected to obey, the children’s ministry workers will love you and your kids even more. Just because I am on staff does not mean they need to bend the rules for my kids and me. Our first service begins at 9am and kid’s check-in starts at 8:45am. I really need to not drop my kids off any earlier. I want those teachers to LOVE my boys. This will also help set a good example for other people in your church. Face it moms and dads, the congregation is watching us. Let’s step up.
- Plan ahead. Pack a special “church bag” with toys that only get played with on the days you need to cart the kids to church. Maybe you have a mid-week staff meeting and no baby-sitter for the 2 year old. Or this week you need to bring your kids to your Thursday night rehearsal. These special, church only toys will come in handy. Set aside the really good toys for this bag. Not something they play with everyday. My favorite thing to bring along is a special book.
I do want to encourage you all to keep at it and don’t give up! Galations 6:9 says, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Keep up the good work, moms and dads!
Comment below with funny stories about your kids and church, or tell us how you balance your roles. We would love to hear from you!