Six Ways Families can Make Online Worship Meaningful3 min read

As COVID-19 cases rise in Michigan, many of us may be transitioning to or continuing with online church. Struggling to get everyone in your home engaged in the online worship experience? Here are some ideas to make at-home church just as meaningful and engaging for the whole family.

Light Candles

In-person church always begins with lighting the candles. Church is about to begin! Why does a family at-home worship experience have to be any different? Before tuning into church, light some candles! It could be one, or ten! Let the whole family (if age appropriate) take a turn lighting and blowing out the candles for that day’s worship service. Make this experience even more special by explaining that Jesus is the light of the world, and lighting candles shows us that Jesus is present with us as we worship Him!

Make Bulletins

Bulletins are helpful for kids during church because they show what has already happened in the service and what’s coming next. This schedule keeps kids from asking, “when is it gonna be over?” Does your church have bulletins online? If not, consider making your own! Most worship services follow the same order each week. It usually begins with a song, followed by confession and forgiveness of sins, Bible readings, maybe another song, the sermon, offering, Communion, and closing songs and prayers.

Make a list of what your church does and make a bulletin with your family. Use simple language the whole family can understand. Draw a box that can be checked off when that part of the service is over. Let different family members take turns checking off the boxes. This practice will keep your family engaged as they follow the order of the service.

Pick Out Clothes

Rolling over in bed and tuning into church on your phone in your pajamas is *SO* 2020, but is this the best practice for your family? Get your family out of bed and excited to gather for worship on Sundays by giving them a Fashion Challenge! Maybe you will all wear the same colors, dress in your finest clothes, your favorite sports team’s gear, or (intentionally) make it a pajama day! Watching church from home means you can get as creative or silly with your wardrobe as you want. Be sure to include different family members by letting them pick the weekly theme.

Pack a Busy Bag

Do you normally pack a bag to take to church with you? You might include snacks, some crayons, or small toys. Maybe your church even provides these “busy bags” for you as you enter the sanctuary. Just because you are at home doesn’t mean kids don’t get the wiggles! Being at home can actually be more distracting since bedrooms and playrooms are nearby.

Stay Focused

Help your family stay focused by doing two things. First, remove as many toys and distractions as you can from the room you will be streaming church. Then, mindfully choose what you want to put back into the room. Your kids can help you choose small toys that don’t make noise, some blocks to keep little hands busy, and a snack. You can even print off coloring sheets that correspond with the Bible readings to entertain and teach your little ones. (Visual Faith Ministries offers children’s bulletins and other resources based on the lectionary).

Get Active

Streaming worship services sometime results in loss of interest because it is less engaging. You’re not standing, sitting, or kneeling like you do in church. Try this idea to keep your family focused on the service: Make it a game! Pick a word or phrase and every time it is said, do an action as a family. For example: every time PRAYER is said, fold your hands, every time JESUS is said, stand up and make a cross with your arms, every time PRAISE is said, jump three times. Get creative and let your family help to come up with the motions.

Photo (c) Tom Keenan/Lightstock

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About the Author

Megan Schultz is the Family Life Minister at Large for Acts 2 Enterprise in Detroit. Follow her on Facebook at Detroit Family Life Ministry.

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