A spiritual connection can be an important part of a family’s life. Although you may have a strong affiliation with church, your child needs a reason to forge this association, too. Help your child understand and see how God can work in her life. A little encouragement can help boost your child’s engagement in church.
Although you probably want your child to attend church weekly with you, it’s best not to turn weekly attendance into a power struggle, advises David O. McKay with Brigham Young University. Leave the door open to attending with you, keeping your demeanor relaxed, loving and inviting. Remember, strong-arming someone into doing something might be the way to get him to do it physically, but he isn’t likely to do it with his heart – which should be your ultimate goal for your child.
A child’s faith needs a place to sprout and grow with loving encouragement and care. Help your child connect with leaders and elders in the church by encouraging involvement in a youth program, if possible. As your child feels the security of a connection, trust can develop. While your child will initially feel this trust for the physical people she works with and gets to know, eventually this trust can transfer to God for a lifelong relationship.
Integrate family prayers into your home life to help build a personal relationship between your child and God. When a child learns that God is available to hear his prayer at any time of the day or night, he may be more likely to seek a relationship with Him. In addition, families that spend time in prayer together often enjoy greater unity and values more in line with each other, states the Forever Families website.
It’s important for children to hear about mission activities to see how these programs can benefit others. However, it’s even more important for children to become involved in servanthood projects, notes Jim Burns with the Christian Broadcasting Network. A church with an active youth group or mission group, working on servant projects both locally and internationally, can be effective for encouraging youth participation. As your child gets involved and feels connected with the church community, she should be strengthening her long-term faith and convictions.
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