6 Tips for Getting to Church On Time

There are a lot of families with young children in my church. These families are generally easy to identify because we’re the ones straggling in after service has begun!

Does your family often straggle in after your church service has begun? Here are 6 simple things we can do to help our families arrive on time.

Being prompt is important to me, so I decided to take action when I realized we were falling into a pattern of arriving late for church. If your family struggles to make it to church on time, then these strategies may benefit you, too.

Why is it so hard to arrive at church on time?

For a while I didn’t understand why it is so difficult to make it to church on time. After all, we’re able to make it on time to medical visits, play dates, story times, etc. during the week. I quickly realized that there are differences between church mornings and other mornings.

First, my husband is home on Sunday mornings. No, I’m not insinuating that he is the reason why we are sometimes late. However, his presence does create a different dynamic than we have on weekdays when he is at work. Second, it’s the weekend and a day of rest, so we desire to sleep in and take life at a slower pace. Finally, because we are headed to church where we will worship, learn, and fellowship with other Christians, I imagine the enemy is eager to put barriers in place to keep us out of church (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 5:8).

How to get to church on time

With a little planning, we can arrive at church on time with genuine smiles on our faces because we’ve had pleasant mornings.

  • Start preparing the night before. Taking a few minutes on Saturday evening to select clothes for the next day, pack the diaper bag, gather Bibles and notebooks, etc. saves us a lot of time and hassle on Sunday morning. It’s also critical that we make it to bed on time. If we don’t, it’s a real challenge to get up when our alarms sound.
  • Get up earlier. Though it is tempting to set our alarms for a little later because it is a weekend day, doing so sets the stage for tardiness. It’s best to set alarms for an early hour that allows ample time to get ready. If I think it will take us an hour and a half to get out of the house, then I set my alarm for two hours before we need to leave. This earlier time provides some cushion for those mornings (which is pretty much every week) when things don’t go smoothly.
  • Eliminate distractions. One of the things that slowed us down in the past was my husband checking the news. He would turn on the TV news for a few minutes and a story would catch his eye. One story flowed into the next until it was time to leave the house and we weren’t ready. The solutions to problems like these are simple: leave the TV off, don’t check social media, don’t pull out complicated toys for the kids, etc. There will be plenty of time for these activities after church.
  • Keep breakfast simple. I love preparing hot, hearty breakfasts on weekend mornings. However, there’s not time for me to prepare these on Sundays. By sticking with quick foods like oatmeal, fruit and yogurt, make-ahead breakfast casseroles, or even cold cereals, we’re able to prepare and consume breakfast in a timely manner.
  • Pray about it. As with other challenges we face, we should get on our knees and ask the Lord to help us. We all benefit from His help and He may reveal specific things that your family can do differently in order to be prompt.
  • Model excitement about meeting with God’s people and worshiping Him. If something really matters to us and we’re excited about it, then we’re not likely to be late to it. We’ll get up early and rush through our preparations in order to be on time (or even early). Of all of the activities in our lives, we should be excited about church. If we cultivate this excitement and model it for our children, then our whole families will be eager for church. This will fill our preparations with enthusiasm and anticipation.

Do you ever struggle to get your family to church on time? What strategies help you arrive promptly?

Shared at the following:

Moments of Hope, Monday’s Musings, Happy Now, Tuesday Talk, Coffee and Conversation, Encouraging Hearts and Home, Blogger Spotlight, Grace and Truth, Mommy Moments, and The Art of Home-Making.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments

  1. Ah, the eternal struggle! This is really helpful, there are a few things on this list I’m planning on changing for next week already. Thanks for sharing such practical tips! ❤

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Laura,
      You’d think it would get easier over time, but it does seem to be an eternal struggle. 🙂

  2. My youngest is now 15, and there are only four of us these days that need to get out the door on Sunday morning, but I still start my preparations the night before. In fact, I’m smiling right now, because there have been times when I’ve thought that it just might be easier to get four young children to church on time than ANY number of teens . . .
    This is all good advice, and much needed.

    • Shannon says:

      Wow, Michele, that’s interesting! Given we have all girls (so far), I’m not sure I want to know how long it will take us to get out the door when they are teens!

  3. These are great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    God bless,
    Patty

  4. We do struggle to get to church sometimes. I suspect it’s due to weekend thinking like you suggest! Great tips, especially doing more preparing the night before.

    • Shannon says:

      The weekend mindset and the dynamic of everyone being home really does make a difference, Jamie. Preparing the night before has been crucial for us!

  5. We definitely struggle with this. Thanks for the tips. I want to work on getting up earlier. We sleep until the very latest moment that we can still make it on time. It makes me feel so rushed and unprepared when we finally get out the door though. I love the idea of having a little extra time!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Candace,
      It seems like we should be able to sleep in because it is the weekend, but doing so has the same impact on my family–we end up rushed and unprepared.

  6. YES! Thanks for these tips. We can never seem to make it on time. Even when we get up extra early. It is a struggle!
    #happynowlinkup

  7. Stopping by from Tuesday Talk! XOXO This is definitely a struggle for me, which is why we don’t go as often these days. With four kids, it’s like a circus when we walk in!

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Stefanie,
      We struggle getting out the door with just two kids, so I can imagine it’s quite tough for you. I hope you’re able to make it more often in the coming months!

  8. This is such a struggle for us and every Sunday I’m so optimistic we’ll be early “this time”…and we’re usually walking in about 30 seconds before church starts! Very good points, the getting things ready the night before has been a big help! Down to picking out my and my son’s clothes. Any minutes saved really help in the Sunday morning rush!

    • Shannon says:

      It seems to be a few minutes here and a few minutes there that really make a difference. Grace as you try to make it on time, Diana!

  9. Admittedly, we struggle with this as well. My kids like to be able to take weekend mornings easy since school starts early during the week. That said, we’ve definitely found keeping the TV off (at least until the kids are completely ready to leave) has helped a lot. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  10. This has been my struggle for such a long time! Since my husband is the worship leader at our church, we usually arrive early to church so he can practice with the worship team, but on the days when I take the kids on my own and my husband leaves before we do, it is so hard! Thanks for these great tips! Your neighbor at Grace and Truth 🙂

    • It would be helpful to have to be there early! I hope you get better at arriving on time on those other days.

  11. WOW!! Great tips… If only I could remember them in the heat of the moment!! I always say the devil tries really hard to keep us out of church! But I refuse to lose! Even if that means my boys are splitting a pop tart in the back seat as we (cautiously) speed down the street. Blessings!

If this is your first time commenting or if something in your text triggers a spam filter, then your comment will be held for moderation and will not be visible immediately. It will be visible as soon as I am able to approve it. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Join the Conversation

*