Here is some great advice from Erik Raymond for parents and pastors on helping their children listen to and apply a sermon:
As a pastor I often get the question, “Do you have any advice for helping my kids to benefit from the sermon?”
This is a question that I really appreciate because it recognizes the importance of the preaching of the Word of God and our reception of it. It recognizes that even the children are to hear, and to best of their ability, understand what is being preached.
What follows are some things that I have done as a Dad and also as a pastor.
Parents before the Sermon
Read the Passage as a family before Sunday morning. This is easy and so very important. They hear the passage read by Dad or Mom and see your commitment to the Word of God. This goes further than you can imagine.
Pray for the pastor and those who will gather in the morning. After reading take some time to pray for the pastor and the service. Beg God to showcase the beauty of Christ and strengthen people’s confidence in the Bible.
Ask the kids (especially the little one) to listen for one key point. If they can hear one thing and really get it then you are winning.
Pray before you leave the car. After driving to church take a brief moment to pray as a family. Pray that you would hear, heed and love God’s Word.
Parents during the Sermon
It is very important to not only train your kids to sit “still and quiet” but also to be attentive to the preaching of the Bible. As parents we don’t simply want well-behaved quiet kids but rather Bible-loving, gospel-saturated, promise-claiming, world-changing, kids. This starts with preaching.
Parents after the Sermon
Pastors before the Sermon
Pastors during the sermon
There are many other things you could do, but this is just a list of items that we have found helpful in our family and church. Perhaps you have others; feel free to list them in the comments so that others may benefit from them.
From The Gospel Coalition: Erik Raymond is the senior pastor of Emmaus Bible Churchin Omaha, NE. He and his wife Christie have six children.
Raymond, Erik. Helping Children Benefit from the Sermon. http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/erikraymond/2015/03/31/helping-kids…