Why & How To Keep Your Kids In Church Service With You

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Episode Summary

Is your church involvement healthy for your kids? We dig into ideas on how to make it even more effective for what’s needed to equip kids today. What’s in this episode takes courage, but it’s the good things that are hard to do, that make the biggest difference.

You may or may not have ever thought about this concept, but we’ve found this to be a transformative piece in equipping confident Christian kids ready to stand strong in today’s world. It takes courage to do what we’re talking about. Not everyone has to do this but if it rings true to you, then we highly encourage it.

If the culture you are in is to put kids in the nursery, Sunday school and youth group then it will take courage to keep them in the service with you, however, most church’s are totally cool with it.

Regardless, it takes courage to go against the normal way of things.

We’ve been part of the traditional church model for most of our parenting years so far (In a church building, not home) and have kept our kids in service with us, often being the only family doing it.

Why Is Family Integrated Church Important?

  • If your not in service together you can’t reflect on what God is teaching you afterward.
    • It’s important to ask your kids what they learned, what kind of conversations did they have, questions that came up.
    • It’s really hard to have fruitful discussions if you didn’t hear what your kids heard.
  • You want to know if what your kids are learning is the Biblical truth. If you are there with them you know and are able to correct anything needed.
  • What about the objection; Kids need things taught in a different way so they grasp the message.
    • If we desire for our kids to grow in spiritual maturity then it makes sense to have them around people who are mature versus only around people their age.
    • We don’t want to feed their immaturity but instead grow their maturity

Should we adapt to their inability to sit still or train them to sit still so they can take in more?

    • Kids may not grasp everything, but they will grasp more. Kids rise to the level of responsibility given and are far smarter earlier than most parents realize.
    • Children can take in a lot.
  • If you have ever served in youth ministries, praise God. There is a lot of parenting not happening. If parents aren’t going to do it, youth ministry is needed, but ideally, parents would do this.
  • If a youth leader has 100 kids in their group, it’s an impossible discipleship scenario.
  • If you do delegate to youth ministries, make sure you know the leaders really really well.
  • Ask yourself, are your kids’ ready to lead in the midst of bad influences? When you have a bunch of kids together parented differently there will be challenging influences.
  • We believe it’s important to worship God together, do communion together, pray together and model what it looks like to be a mature believer in the church.
    • If our children don’t experience being a mature part of the church their whole lives amongst other adults while they are in your home, we believe it contributes to their departure of the church when they launch.
    • Does it make sense that they are in youth programs until they launch?  Then what? Aren’t we just delaying maturity?

In leadership, if you teach to the strongest in understanding the whole organization rises, but if you teach to the lowest in understanding the team stagnates or falls apart.

  • We communicate to our kids with an equal sense of dignity, value and respect regardless of age.
  • We will get more respect if we give respect. They rise to the respect you give them.
  • It’s so important that kids and young adults feel like they count. They are an essential part of the body of Christ.
  • We shouldn’t separate and only think primarily in terms of what the adults are getting, kids are vital.

Kids should be in a maturation process by respecting their intelligence enough to not cater to their foolishness of not paying attention.

  • You have to have vision to make the harder choices
    • An example of Vision: I’m going to have a conversation with them after church about the biblical points covered, I want them to see me worshipping so they know how, it’s important they consistently go to church, I can train them in having self-control, children can learn these truths.
  • Do you think the enemy wants your kid to grow spiritually?  Hear a message straight from the bible?
  • Separation encourages ageism in the body of Christ. If you separate, adults develop ageism where they only talk to and pursue other adults. It also perpetuates ageism amongst the kids’ age groups too and gives little opportunity for them to want to learn from other adults.
  • Our kids love intellectual conversations with older people before and after church.

Here’s How To Do This

  • If you are in traditional church (In a building, not a home) you can do this, we did for most of our church going years.
  • We are now in a home Church which takes less courage as everyone is doing it. (Not to be confused with a small group or bible study)
  • If bucking the system causes you not to do it, you have to ask yourself if you are willing to be courageous for the benefit of your kids or not.
  • It’s good to ask why we may not want to do it
    • Is it because we want a break during Church with peace and quiet?
    • Is it because I want undivided social time around the church meeting?
  • If that’s the case, perhaps it’s because you haven’t trained them well enough?
  • How to train them to sit in church
    • Set your kids up for success otherwise, I have to offer grace in discipline which can be inconsistent.
      • Have them eat a good breakfast
      • Bring them a snack, if it’s not allowed they can go without
        • If they can’t handle it they need self-control training
    • Have some things that help them engage with the teaching
      • Bible, journal or if smaller let them draw or color
      • Don’t bring a bunch of toys,  or anything loud.
    • Drinks are helpful in something that won’t spill
  • Train them during the week
    • Blanket time
      • Put a blanket out daily and put some toys.
        • When they get off the blanket bring them back to it.
      • Toddler age they can use little toddler folding chairs.
      • Have a sermon playing during.
      • Incrementally increase the amount of time as you train.
  • During the service
    • Encourage the littles to pray with us.
    • If he’s being antsy–focus him on the message.
  • You must be consistent in training your kids.
  • Leave the service to talk to them and potentially discipline them if needed. Church is a spiritual growth initiative for everyone when parents have the right mindset.


  • If you don’t do what’s best because you believe Church is to be restful and it’s too hard to include your kids, pause and say that out loud. It should help you realize how selfish and backward that thought is.
  • Imagine what it would be like if you were in Biblical community where we helped each other, trusted each other and embraced children as part of the meeting.
  • You can be a catalyst for this!

Scriptures In This Episode

Deuteronomy 31:12 ” Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law,”

Acts 16: 30-31And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Proverbs 20:11 “Even a child is known by his deeds, Whether what he does is pure and right.”

Matthew 18:5-6Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

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  • Financial Giving, is important to support our family and expand the impact of the ministry. We aim to impact 10 million families and their legacies. We are in full-time ministry as a family of 9 at home, so everything makes a difference. 

Thank you for being part of this movement to equip 10 million families and their legacies with Biblical truth to raise confident Christian kids in an uncertain world.

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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