Why is it that Sunday morning can turn into the most chaotic morning of the week when you would think it’s supposed to be the one filled with the most love? After several years of being a parent, I was tired of arriving to church late, angry, and unsure where God was. I made it a priority to figure out how to get to church on time without losing my religion!
You can use these tips to get anywhere on time. These tips almost guarantee you will get from point A to point B on time. Unless you just have something totally unexpected occur. Which is always possible when there are other humans involved. Especially unpredictable little ones.
The thing is – we can only control ourselves. You have to be as prepared as possible in order for things to go smoothly. You can’t control the mood or movement speed of the rest of the family. So you have to leave little room for error. Intentional preventive maintenance is key!
6 Ways to Get to Church On Time
#1 Create A Checklist:
You can create a checklist. Divide it into 2 parts. Preparation the Night Before & Before We Leave.
- You can assign tasks to family members. Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other family members grow and develop to reach their full potential in the home. You will want to train family members on the duties they were assigned and communicate the expectations clearly.
- This list needs to include everything that needs to be done before your family can get out of the door. You can decide what is best for you to do the night before and what to leave for the day of departure. Include everything you can think of depending on what stage of development your children are in. Think of yourself too.
- Bibles, coffeepot setup, what goes in the diaper bag, check written for your tithe, everyone’s outfits are picked out, water-packed, snack packed, car gassed Any time something else comes up that causes a delay. Put it on the checklist.
#2 Go To Bed On Time and Set the Alarm
Set the alarm for a time that gives you plenty of wiggle room. Get real about timing. Estimate how long it will take you to get to your destination. How long will it take to get ready? Then add 15-30 minutes to that.
*How many minutes late do you usually arrive? That’s how much time you should add. Pay attention to what time you get into the car. What time do you get to church? Adjust the alarm setting and preparation accordingly.
#3 Pre-make Breakfast or Take It On The Go
On the mornings you need to be somewhere, keep breakfast super simple. You may decide this is something you can prep the night before. You can easily prep pancakes, fruit, eggs, and muffins the night before. Think: Grab -N- Go if the need arises.
#4 No Disruptions
How about this rule? No TV, video games, play, phone (parents included), ipad, (whatever the disruptors are in your family) until you are ready to get into the car. When you can show you’re ready to leave, then we can talk extracurricular. Is your family chronic late arrivers? If so, then don’t allow extracurriculars until your family gets the hang of arriving on time. I still don’t allow it, so we can get to church on time.
I notice that when we are rushed our communication is sparse and when we do say something, it’s not in the best tone. Our attitudes are negative. We start growling at each other. If you have a partner, can you relate?
Of course, it helps to communicate clearly and work as a team at all times, but especially when the family is running late or under pressure. Just stop. Decide who is doing what with which kid and whatever else needs doing. You may have to do some parts of the routine you usually don’t do.
You can give choice to each spouse if that helps. Do you want to brush their teeth or fill the water bottles? Start this conversation early, so you are able to keep things respectful. Choose what you say carefully, and speak with a“we’re all in this together” attitude. I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be so worth it. It’s what you want the kids to experience.
Pray the night before and pray in the morning when the alarm goes off. Pray for peace, love, and respect while getting ready. If it’s a reoccurring problem for your family to get to church on time, pray as a family.
Call to Action
If you follow this plan and your family still does not get to church on time, don’t sweat it. It is best for the kids to have a positive experience getting ready for church. Just think what their attitude will be if they grow up with a grouchy household on Sunday morning. There will be less of a chance of them continuing church as their Sunday ritual when they have a family.
If your family walks in late, they walk in late. Who cares who’s judging? God already knew you were going to be late. You are going to church to worship- not to be worshipped. Certainly, when you get there, make the most of it. Later, on the drive home, discuss and take suggestions on what still needs to improve. Of course, your family can try again next week.
If you follow this plan and your family DOES get to church on time, celebrate. You can make a big deal about it. Go out to eat afterward. If you already do that, then get ice cream too. Be sure everyone has a positive vibe and energy about arriving on time! The family can discuss what efforts caused the family to arrive on time or early. How does it feel to be there when church starts instead of late? Rinse and repeat next week!
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I would love for you to comment and tell us any of your secrets for getting your family out the door on time.