How to Teach Church Etiquette to Teenagers

Practicing good etiquette entails using proper manners appropriate to the specific situation, according to the Binghamton University. It includes both verbal communication, meaning what you say and how you say it, as well as non-verbal communication, which includes facial expressions. If teenagers attend church, it’s helpful to communicate proper church etiquette to enable them to act appropriately in this formal situation. Once teenagers understand the expectations, they can act accordingly.

Help a teenager understand that the basic tenet of etiquette is to act respectfully and interact politely with others. This basic definition of etiquette applies to church behavior, just as it applies to other behavior such as school or employment behavior.

Instruct your teenager about the holiness of the church building, specifically the sanctuary, according to an article published by the St. Johns and Immanuel Churches. Teach your teen that his presence in the sanctuary demands a deep and abiding respect and reverence for God. This means that he shouldn't act disinterested or aloof during the service.

Encourage punctual behavior from a teenager when attending church, advises Linda J. Williams, author of “Church Etiquette: A Handbook for Manners and Appropriate Behavior in Church.” Arriving late or leaving early shows disrespect for God 1. If possible, encourage your teen to stay at his seat during the entire church service to avoid causing a disruption.

Talk about appropriate dress and appearance in church 1. Whatever the dress code of your specific church, make sure your teenager understands it and complies with it to show proper respect and reverence.

Teach your teen to leave gum, beverages and food home or in the car, advises the St. Joseph Parish website. Demonstrating respect for God generally means focusing on the messages delivered during the church service without engaging in distractions such as food or drink.

Model self-control and self-restraint for your teen. Explain to them that no one, including children and teenagers, should run in the church building, climb on furniture or pews, talk loudly or raucously, or engage in destructive activities with church property.

Encourage your adolescent to converse respectfully with others at church. Your teen should display proper respect for clergy and ministry, elders and adults. Encourage your teen to interact with everyone in a helpful and humble way.

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