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Our Beliefs - Helping Children Worship

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When I was a kid, I spent quite a bit of time at my grandparent's place out in the country. Just about every time I got out of the truck, one or the other of them would holler out "look down when you walk." It was our one standing rule, intended to keep me from stepping of a cliff or in a chuck hole or on a rattlesnake.

Right now, I don't get to spend as much time out in the country as I would like, but I find that I still need to observe the infamous "look down" rule. In our church you have to, or you’ll end up knocking over a child. They are everywhere-in every pew, behind every door, and in every room. They are singing and talking and playing and lying in wait for donut holes to enter the building.

Our church, unlike some others, also actively encourages them to attend, participate in, and even help lead worship. Corporate worship is one of the most important things a congregation does. It is in worship that God comes to us in the word and sacrament, and we respond by listening and receiving, praising and thinking, and dedicating our lives to God's service. Worship motivates us and empowers us to serve. Bringing children into the worship service can sometimes be like having the smallest member of the family eating at the supper table even though his or her manners might not yet be fully matured.

Children wiggle and poke and swing their legs in worship just because they are kids. We all expect that to happen sometimes. The important thing is that they will also have a chance to sing, pray and give with us. They will have a chance to experience true worship and they will learn from it. They will learn that not only does God love and respect them, but that their church does as well.

Although we do have our Children's Church program to help kids learn about worship, parents and other church members can help the children with this learning process. Here are some easy ways to help:

  • Arrive in time to find a good place to sit. Make sure your children can see by seating them on the center aisle or in the front pews.
  • Bring something along for a very little one to hold or look at, something soft and quiet.
  • Practice parts of the service at home-things like the Lord's prayer or the Doxology.
  • Help your children mark the hymns in each hymnal.
  • Help your children locate the Bible readings in the bulletin or pew Bibles, and move your finger from word to word as the pastors read them aloud.
  • Have children check off each part of the worship service as it passes.
  • Tell and show children the repeated words in hymns which they can remember and sing along.
  • Encourage those who read to follow along in the bulletin and participate.
  • Never forget to express your joy of having them in worship with you by an occasional smile in their direction.
  • After worship, help reinforce that day's teaching in church school, worship and children's church by asking them questions about what they learned that day.

(Author Unknown)

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