Back to Church – Info for Families

As we begin to go back to “Big Church” at Calvary SLO, 
Calvary SLO Children’s Ministry will remain closed due to safety and staffing concerns. We are disappointed we won’t be able to return to the classrooms right away but are thankful we are able to resume corporate worship! We welcome and encourage you to participate in Big Church as a family unit in the coming months.

What to plan for as a family while attending a service:
  • Children must remain in your direct presence and supervision at all times.
  • If you or any of your children are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 please do not attend Sunday services. We have a strict Children's Ministry Health and Safety Policy during “normal times” and now it is more important than ever to be aware of your family’s health before coming to church on Sunday. 
  • Do your best at maintaining 6ft social distancing. We know social distancing with kids is really hard, especially for preschool and younger! 
  • If your children are able, please have your child(ren) wear face masks. Children 2 and under should not wear face masks due the CDC’s notice regarding the danger of suffocation.
  • There will be hand sanitizer available at church but if you are able, please bring your own.
  • There will be safe and private spaces for nursing mothers in the Nursery located in Children’s Ministry and in the Middle School room located in the warehouse.
  •  There will not be any shared play spaces or toys available before, during or after service.

Now, we know that’s a lot… and for some, the idea of having your children in Big Church might feel overwhelming in “normal” circumstances and now even more so in this new landscape. Hopefully, our occasional Family Services have given you an idea of how your children respond when participating in Big Church. In light of this, take heart! You already have some practice! 

Try Setting Expectations…

Before Sunday, talk to your child(ren) about what they can expect, how long it will be, and then set age appropriate expectations for your child(ren). Also, take time to explain the purpose of Big Church: a place where God’s people, young and old, come to enjoy worshipping God together. This is a very special and important time.

We participate in the service:
  • We sing, give, sit, stand, pray and listen (If your child can read, help them follow along with worship on the projector screen or the bible reading.)
We exercise self-control of our bodies:
  • We sit upright and keep our hands and belongings to ourselves
  • We try not to wiggle or fall off the chair
  • We are quiet. If we must speak to Mom or Dad, speak in whispers
  • We keep on our clothes, shoes & socks. (speaking from experience with my own children)
We listen to the pastor:

Teaching our children to listen is a very important (and hard!) facet of parenting. Explain to your kids, just like we listen to those God has placed over us, like a teacher or a parent; a pastor is someone placed over us by God. We listen to a pastor because he is teaching us God’s truth and he does this during the sermon.

  • Encourage your kids to write down any words they don’t understand and/or something that they learned from the sermon.
  • Ask them to draw a picture of what is being taught in the sermon
Other ideas to try that may be helpful:
  • Have a special “church only” bag or small backpack filled with noise-free items such as coloring supplies, a children’s bible and/or small toy(s).
  • We know kids can get hungry at any time… please choose snacks from a noise and mess perspective. 
  • If you need to bring a drink for your child, please use a leak or spill free cup. 
  • Please refrain from giving your child electronics or your phone during service.
  • Listen to kids worship songs on the way to church in case they won’t be able to follow along in the main service.
Make sure to follow up with your children after service:
  • What did you remember or learn from the sermon today?
  • Praise them for their good behavior, be specific! Consider rewarding them for their success!
  • Correct any failures by reminding them what you expect for next Sunday.
  • Reinforce the sermon at home during the week. 

We miss ALL your children’s faces so much and can’t wait to be in the classrooms again. God bless and may this time worshipping God with your children be a time of joy and flourishing!