Teaching children about proper church etiquette
Good day friends,
This week’s Sunday School lesson was about the proper manners for attending church. It is a topic where a delicate balance must be achieved. On the one hand, the children must understand the Holiness of the Church and how to respect visiting the home of the King of Kings.
On the other hand, the children must not feel intimidated about going to Church and must be reminded that our Lord’s greatest pleasure is to see His children at church.
How to explain to children, in an easy to understand manner, that their behavior at Church must be different from their behavior anywhere else?
We played a little game to illustrate that visiting Church is like visiting Royalty.
My beloved friend Nancy kindly allowed me to dress her up as a “foreign princess”.
Prior to the “Royal Visit” to the class, I explained how children must behave in front of royalty:
Be respectful and quiet, sit still and do not move around, speak when spoken to etc.
The Foreign Princess arrived at the classroom and the children stood in a row to curtsy.
The Foreign Princess sat down on her “throne” and the children had to keep quiet unless they were spoken to.
While the Foreign Princess was sitting down, everyone had to sit still and not make any movements.
When the Foreign Princess left, the children got up to bid her farewell.
I then explained to the children the similarity between a royal visit and their attending liturgy at Church, the home of the King of Kings and how we must observe the following rules (as wisely outlined in the lesson plan of the curriculum we follow at my church):
- Come early. Go and wake Mom and Dad up, telling them to let you and the whole family go and see Jesus early.
- Bow before the sanctuary as soon as you come in. You can do that especially if you come early.
- Never run around inside the church.
- If you enter the church and find that the Gospel is being read, stand still where you are until it is finished, because every attention and respect should be given to the Word of God.
- Do not speak to anyone else. Concentrate on praying to God.
- Do not laugh, be serious.
- When the Gospel is being read, we have to stand up because we must respect the Word of God.
- Sing with the deacons and the congregation.
- Take communion regularly to grow spiritually. Communion helps us to grow in Christ.
- Never leave before the service is finished because the Lord Jesus is there, and nothing outside is more important.
I also found the following, excellent, video clip to drive the message home.