For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:34

The first day of school is a time for new opportunities. The school year is a great time to establish new habits and priorities within your family. As parents, you want your children to value the same things that you do, with church being the first and foremost important thing in your life. You want your children to develop a relationship with God under your guidance that they will continue for the rest of their lives. But, how do you make sure church is prioritized? It can be easy in the summer when children have an abundance of free time. But making church a priority among the basketball practices, ballet classes, tutoring appointments, and everything else you try to pack into a week can be tough. Below are three ways to help you prioritize church as your kids go back to school.

Teach by example

From an early age, children will mimic your attitudes and actions. The best way to foster a child’s spiritual growth is to make your own a priority. Avoid a “what happens at church stays at church” culture in your home. Let your children see you practicing what has been covered in the sermons at home. Kids who see their parents act full of love and compassion at church but then curse at their neighbor on Monday morning will have a hard time learning the deeper meaning of going to church and will learn to “put on a show”. Additionally, do not complain about going to church. Your children will mimic this behavior. Always go willingly and they will learn to do the same.

Don’t let church attendance be an option

Too often children will ask, “Are we going to church tomorrow?” when they should know the answer. Teach your children that church attendance is not something to be treated lightly. Going to a football game on a Friday night is an optional event. For a faithful family, church service is not. The church is losing young people due to the fact that they are not learning from their parents the value of going from a young age. If you have a hard time getting everyone up for the early service, choose a later one to attend. Set the expectation of attending every Sunday as a family. Then, your children will learn from you that it should be their priority too.

Study at home

Setting aside time to study God’s Word in your own house not only prioritizes church, it’s a great way to get in family time. Establish a routine of when your family will gather. Then, stick to it. This builds on the other two tips presented above. It’s a practical way to bring the word of God alive in your home. Planning out your own devotional lessons may seem intimidating at first, but we’ve created a guide that can help you get started.

At St John, we value investing in children’s lives. We hope these tips help you make church a priority in your busy life. Our doors are always open to those who want to come learn with us.