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How to Help Your Child Have a Great First Time at Church

One of the best things about being young is having so many firsts: first day at school, first time riding a bike, and so many more.

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One of the best things about being young is having so many firsts: first day at school, first time riding a bike, and so many more. (Do you ever miss having those firsts as an adult?) And if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance an exciting first is on the horizon for your child: their first time at church! 

How to help your child have a great first time at church 

New experiences come with all kinds of feelings. Sometimes a new thing makes a child feel excited, while other times it leaves them feeling uncertain – maybe even a little scared. But there are so many great things in store for your child when they join us at church for the first time. Here are some tips to help them have a great first visit! 

Help them know what to expect 

If your child is enrolled in school, you may have taken them on a tour before the school year actually started. During that time, they got to meet their teacher, explore their classroom, and learn their way around the building. All these things helped them understand what to expect and made that first official day feel a little less daunting. 

In the same way, you can tell your child what they might see and experience when they come to church for the first time to help set their expectations and build their excitement. At LCBC, your child will: 

  • Stop by New Here to introduce yourselves and share some basic information.
  • Get checked in at the kidMinistry or Student Ministry entrance.
  • Be greeted and welcomed by a trained Small Group Leader who will help them get connected.
  • Play games and hang out with kids their age.
  • Meet the adult leaders in their classroom who will be pouring into them.
  • Hear a message at their level with the whole group. (Younger kids will even get to dance and sing songs!)
  • Get to know each other, hear from God through the Bible, and pray for one another in small groups.

Emphasize what there is to look forward to 

A common mental trap we run into – even as kids – is worrying about what could go wrong and missing what could go right! If your child is feeling anxious about this new experience, help them reshape their thoughts and focus on the things they can get excited about:  

  • They will get to play some fun games and hang out with other kids their age.
  • This will be a great opportunity for them to make new friends.
  • Trying new and hard things is a chance for us to be brave.
  • They’ll get to learn more about Jesus and his plans for their life!

Tell them what you’ll be doing 

It’s natural for kids to want to know where you are when they’re not with you. You can continue to ease their mind by sharing what you’ll be doing after you drop them off: 

  • You’ll head into the Auditorium for the gathering (and you’ll be welcomed by some friendly Greeters and Ushers!)
  • During the Gathering, you’ll talk to God through live songs and prayers and hear an inspiring message from one of our communicators.
  • Afterward, you’ll head back to pick up your child.

It may be fun to point out the things you’ll be doing at the same time in your own spaces. For example, younger kids will sing and dance to music, and you’ll hear music yourself! And you’ll both hear a relatable message with things you can apply right away. When you come back together, talk about what you did and the things you learned from the message. 

Pray together 

Praying in the face of new challenges and anxiety is a great way to draw our focus away from what’s hard. It gives us an opportunity to lean into God’s strength and comfort. 

If your child is feeling nervous, take some time to pray. You can do it before you leave your house, in the car on the way to church, or even in the parking lot before you go inside! You can come up with a prayer as a family, or try this one together:  

Dear God, thank you for the chance to go to church together. Please be with each of us and help us have a great time. We’re excited to meet new people and learn more about you today. Amen. 

Safety is our top priority! 

Your child might not be worrying about things like safety and security, but as a parent or caregiver, the thought has probably crossed your mind! We want everyone to feel safe when they enter our buildings, and that applies to everyone we welcome into kidMinistry and Student Ministry each week. Here’s how we prioritize safety for kids at LCBC: 

  • Secure check-in: Everyone who checks into kidMinistry and Student Ministry gets a sticker nametag with their name, age, and the room they’ll be in. These tags are worn visibly on their shirt. If you’re dropping off a child between ages 6 weeks-Grade 4, you’ll receive a sticker of your own with a code on it that lets our check-in team know you’re together.
  • Safe pick-up procedures: You won’t be able to pick up your child from kidMinistry without your coordinating tag, and anyone with a different code will not be able to remove your child from the room. For kids in Collide, volunteers will make sure you have a pick-up plan, like allowing your child to leave and come find you or wait until you’re there to pick them up.
  • Background checks and clearances: Anyone interacting with minors, whether staff or volunteers, has current, clear criminal background checks.
  • Volunteer training: Not only do our volunteers love being around kids, they’re trained to help them connect with other kids, read and understand the Bible, and pray. We even have a Buddy Ministry that prepares leaders to meet the unique needs of each child and provides extra support if needed. 

These are only a few of the safety measures we take at LCBC. See how else we create safe environments throughout our buildings so you and your loved ones can engage with God and others. 

We want to introduce kids to Jesus 

It’s a privilege to care for your kids and help them learn more about Jesus. We hope that by spending time in kidMinistry and Student Ministry, your kids grow deeper in their faith and trust Jesus as their Savior. We're so grateful you trust us to help your kids along their spiritual journey – we can’t wait to meet them! 

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