Family Sundays – What’s the point? And what has it got to do with me?

By Children Discipleship Team

Every Sunday, the church family gathers in person to worship God. Family Sundays – the first Sunday of every month where we include the children in the main gathering throughout the service – are no different. We encourage families to gather together with the rest of the church family, minus the age specific ministries, and to do this even though it may be challenging, inconvenient, uncomfortable, distracting & even a little bit disruptive. We do this because Family Sunday is just like any other family gathering we have with our biological families. Everyone is included, invited and an important part of the family – even if it’s not an ideal situation, even if some of us get on each other’s nerves, even if it requires sacrifices to be made. 

More than that, it is an opportunity for each and every one of us to minister to one another as we sit in the pews. Yes, even those of us who do not have children or who have past the season of caring for little ones.

We asked grandparents, young adults, parents and little children to share about their experience of Family Sundays. 

Parent: It is an intentional decision to show up at service and to keep the children with us. There were times I felt very angry and discouraged when others were not very kind and stared at my kids when they were noisy or couldn’t sit still. Making a decision to show up as a family on Family Sundays and training the children to sit together with the adults is challenging and I am grateful for those in our church family, especially the youths, who are patient and understanding and who take time to engage with my kids. Some simple ways that we parents would appreciate support would be – smiling and welcoming the children, encouraging the parents and even sharing your own struggles with young children. (L, mother of primary schoolers and pre-schoolers)

Child: During Family Sundays I’m supposed to sit down and listen to the speaker. I try not to play with friends but sometimes get carried away. From the sermons on Revelation, I’ve learnt that Jesus died on the cross and Satan thought he won, but when the second Christmas comes, those who hate Jesus, and those who stop people from telling the Good News will not enjoy the day when Jesus comes back. Those who follow Jesus and tell people about God even when it is tough, they will like it when Jesus comes again. Satan always loses. (Aiden Shi, 7yr old)

Grandparent: It’s a great joy to be able to worship with our grandchildren. Although they are not old enough to understand all that goes on, having them in the sanctuary throughout the service on Family Sundays is such a great reminder to us that Jesus welcomed these little ones and said that unless we became like children, we would never enter the kingdom of God. We pray that as they grow older, they will be able to grasp the deep, deep love of Jesus and these monthly exposures to the full worship service would have helped in some way. (Eld. George & Mabel Khoo, grandparents to primary schoolers and pre-schoolers)

Young Adult: We were sitting in front of a row of children one Family Sunday, and during the response song they belted out all the words loudly. In doing so, they lived out Colossians 3:16 – singing Gospel truths to our hearts! And when the preachers ask the children to ask the adults about the sermon – it encourages us adults (even those of us who don’t have our own kids yet) to pay closer attention to God’s Word being preached, and to model listening well. So Family Sundays give both adults and children the opportunity to speak Gospel truths to one another, because children are not too young to hear from us and speak to us about Jesus!(Benjamin & Deborah Wong, recently married)

As a church, we desire to present each member, including the children, mature in Christ (Col 1:28) 

Here are some pointers that you may find helpful to practice in the coming Family Sundays.


  1. Prepare your kids the night before: No CD class tomorrow, we will be worshipping God by singing songs, listening to the Preacher teach us about God from the Bible, praying together and taking Holy Communion with the whole church family etc.
  2. Pack a notebook for the kids to write down words from the sermon or slides they don’t understand.
  3. Think about how you can summarise the sermon in a way your child will understand. Share it with them as you pray together with them during Corporate Prayer or for 5 min right after the service ends. Children want to hear how it’s relevant to your own life so they know it can be relevant to them too! 
  4. Kids under 4yrs – pack quiet activities to only be done during the sermon time. Encourage them to participate in the rest of the service (singing, prayer, listening to Scripture reading)

Aim: To love the family of God by letting those around you listen to God speak through the preacher. Love God by listening to His Word being explained by the preacher.

Adults around the kids:

  1. Low bar: wave, smile and say ‘hi’ to the kids. Help them feel like they are actually welcomed!
  2. Middle bar: chat with a kid before or after service. Introduce yourself. Ask about them. Try to follow up again next week/next Family Sunday.
  3. Higher bar: Choose to sit near a family and pray with them during corporate prayer time.

Aim: To love the family of God by welcoming, showing grace, and being a model to the younger ones of how to listen to God speak through the Preacher.

The noise and chaos that the little feet and hands may bring to the pews on Family Sundays should remind us that being a part of a Jesus family entails loving even ‘the least of these’ (Matt 25:40). It is our prayer that more of us will see how Family Sundays at Zion Bishan can be a source of life and blessing to all!

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