The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Too shy to leave the pew

How parents can help children feel more comfortable at church

Q: My church has a "Children's Moment" during worship for the kids to come up front and hear a short story from the pastor. My son is usually too shy to leave the pew. How can I help him gain courage?

designpicsA: Many churches set aside a portion of worship for a children's message — and lots of children, like your son, enjoy it from the pews rather than walking up front.

Don't pressure your child to leave your side if he's not ready. It's important for young children to feel comfortable and secure in worship so they gain a sense of God's love and learn that church is a safe place.

Ask your child if he'd like you to come up with him for this portion of the service. If he agrees, it could be a transition for making him feel more at home in church.


Julie Robinson

Julie Robinson

Posted at 11:29 am (U.S. Eastern) 10/12/2011

My own kids were the opposite of shy, but I have a couple of suggestions.First, visit the altar area after church to familiarize your son with the view.You could even practice walking up and back to reassure him you'll still be in the pew.Second, make sure your son is comfortable with the pastor.If they already have a realtionship, it'll be less scary for him and more like visiting with a friend.Blessings!

Note: Julie Robinson edited this post at 11:30 am on 10/12/2011.

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