I recently stumbled across an old video of our youngest daughter when she was about three. On this tape (yeah, it was a long time ago!) she was reciting the books of the Old Testament. I smiled as I listened to her little voice saying the names of the books in her three year-old way. So sweet.
That triggered another memory in my mind. As soon as my girls could read, since they’d already learned the books of the Bible, I would challenge them as we sat and listened to their daddy preaching, to try to find the Bible references he used as he preached. We would race to see who could find it first (quietly, of course). The winner would gently elbow the other person, to signify that they had found the right book, chapter and verse. Once there, a mark was made on the bulletin; that person had earned a point! We’d keep score to see who had won at the end of the service.
We had lots of fun with this over the years. At first I would go slowly and give them a chance, but it wasn’t long until they got really fast and kept me on my toes! It was a friendly competition that did several things.
- It kept them listening
- It sharpened their Bible reference skills
- It kept them interested in what was happening during the service
- It kept them out of trouble (for the most part)
What’s funny is that this friendly competition often continues when one of the girls is home. We just can’t help ourselves! So if you see us in our seat elbowing one another, you’ll know that we’re not angry, there’s just a long-standing competition going on!
What tactics did/do you use to keep your children attentive in church?
From my parsonage window,