"Daddy, I'd like you to meet my children."
That's Robbie Castleman's attitude about taking her children to church. She believes that Sunday morning isn't a success if she has only managed to keep the kids quiet. And she knows there's more to church for kids than trying out their new coloring books. Children are at church for the same reason as their parents: for the privilege of worshiping God.
Worship, Castleman writes, is "the most important thing you can ever train your child to do." So with infectious passion, nitty-gritty advice and a touch of humor, she shows you how to help your children (from toddlers to teenagers) enter into worship.
In this significantly revised and updated edition Castleman includes a new preface and two new appendices that provide new perspectives on children's sermon and intergenerational community. She also provides a study guide for personal reflection or group discussion. More than ever, Parenting in the Pew is essential reading for parents and worship leaders who want to help children make joyful noises unto the Lord.
"Compelling reading. . . . Filled with good ideas, straightforward challenges, and true-to-life examples. It's a passionate call to spiritual parenting that reminds adults to actively participate in church services themselves while leading little ones into God's presence."
"Robbie Castleman does wonders in this book! She actually does show how 'training children to pay attention to God . . . is one rare way to have your cake and eat it too.' Her biblically grounded theology and experientially tested practical ideas give us wonderful suggestions that deepen our own participation in worship, even while we help children truly worship instead of merely keeping quiet. This book is essential--for pastors, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, parents and every other member of the congregation (since we all are responsible for forming the church's offspring). The Christian community could be changed by this book; read it avidly and give it to everyone you know."
"Parenting in the Pew offers solid, practical solutions for parents who want to help their kids fully engage in Sunday morning worship. Castleman invites parents to see Sunday morning not as a challenge to keep their kids quiet, but as an opportunity to introduce their children to their heavenly Father."
"Castleman offers a beautiful vision of what worship can be like for both parents and children. In short, as the author says, worship for parents can become a process of saying, 'Daddy, I'd like you to meet my children.' Highly recommended."
Foreword by Ruth Bell Graham
Preface to the 3rd Edition (2013)
Preface to the Expanded Edition (2001)
1. Daddy, I'd Like You to Meet My Children
2. Worship B.C. and A.D.
3. Praise and Puppies
4. Sunday Morning Starts Saturday Night
5. Counting Bricks or Encountering God
6. Make a Joyful Noise
7. Prayer, Confession and Canned Goods
8. Just How Long Was That Sermon?
9. Saving Up for Something Special
10. The Holy Hug
Discussion Questions and Reflections
Appendix A: Parenting in a Wiggly Pew, the Challenge of an Overactive Child
Appendix B: Children?s Worship for Seeker Churches
Appendix C: Guidelines and Ideas for the "Children's Sermon" in Worship
Appendix D: Developing an Intergenerational Approach to Ministry