Getting everyone ready for church on Sunday mornings can be a struggle. This is especially true for large families and single-parent families.

We therefore offer these practical tips for getting the family out the door and into the church on time:

1. Make sure there is plenty of gas in car on Saturday.

2. Have the children bathe on Saturday evening. That way, all you will need to worry about on Sunday morning is having them brush their teeth and comb their hair.

3. Have a designated “church bag” and make sure all the Bibles, notebooks, pens, crayons, etc. are in it on Saturday so you can just grab it and go on Sunday.

4. Pick out and prepare the children’s outfits the night before so that there will be no last minute washing, ironing, or accessorizing on Sunday morning.

5. Serve a simple breakfast on Sunday. Interestingly, the word “breakfast” is connected to the tradition of fasting before worship. Cold cereal and a piece of fruit will suffice.

6. Set a precise time that you need to leave for church and announce advance warnings, “We are leaving in 15 minutes!”

7. Establish a “buddy system” and delegate the responsibility of getting younger children ready to older siblings.

8. Avoid time-consuming and unnecessary sidetracks. The outside world isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there on Monday morning. So let phone calls go to voicemail and let your e-mails sit in the inbox.

9. Forsake perfectionism. Shoes get scuffed. Tights get runs in them. Hair gets frizzed. Do your best and let grace cover the rest.

10. Remember – Better late than never! If you simply cannot get to church on time, just sneak in quietly through the back door during one of the hymns and don’t worry about it.