Children and Worship

Children are always welcome in worship. That means we welcome your whole child—wiggles, dropped hymnals, and tears—your child is a part of the family of faith and has a place in our common worship! Worship is a learned skill and will feel very different as your child grows. Below are a number of resources for you and your children to help make worship a positive experience.

 

 

 

Easy Steps to Successful Worship!

Getting Ready Before Sunday Morning:

1)      Talk to your child about worship.  If it is your first time coming to church, give your child a head’s up about what is happening.  Practice being quiet together and listening, try finding things in a Bible at home, or even reading the scripture passage before getting to church. 

2)      Try playing worship.  Children love to act out things they have seen and been a part of.  Participate with your child as they explain the service to you.  Encourage your child to take on different roles, have him tell his favorite story from the Bible, or sing an anthem.  Worship play does not need to be perfect, allow for some fun interpretation!  Such play allows a child to explore the worship on her own terms, making worship part of her own story.

3)      Learn the Liturgy.  Many elements of worship are repeated week after week.  You can help your child participate by using some of those elements in the home.  For instance, the doxology makes a wonderful family prayer before a meal, the Lord’s Prayer could become a part of a bed time ritual.  The more those words and phrases are used the more they become tools in the spiritual life of your child. 

4)      Explore the Space.  Come by the church before Sunday.  Walk around the chancel (the front of the church), look at the big Bible and the font.  Try out different pews, try speaking from the lectern or pulpit.  If you have any questions or would like someone to join in that exploration, please feel free to ask either of the pastors to join you!

 

On Sunday Morning:

1)      Check Out the View:  When you pick a seat, consider what your child can see.  If you are too far back, it’s hard to see and to participate.  Sitting closer might allow your child to engage more.  Who are you sitting by?  Our congregation loves children and is glad that they are joining us in worship!  Are there adults your child knows?  Sit by them and they can be a part of your worship team!

2)      Use Available Tools: At both entrances you can find Worship Bags.  Worship Bags include age appropriate activities to help your child in worship.  Other tools you might consider:  Large Print Hymnals (also available by both entrances) can be helpful for new readers.  

3)       Participate! Have your child help you find the hymn in the hymnal, write his name on the sign in sheet, pass the peace, and find your nametags on Sunday morning.  

4)      Be Positive:  Encourage and compliment your child when she does well.  Again, don’t search for perfection, but revel in the little successes!  Mention specifics,  such as “I really appreciated the way you sang out during the hymn.”  Or “That was wonderful the way you greeted Mrs. Jones during the passing of the peace.”  

5)      It’s Okay!  No one is perfect in worship.  People fall asleep, forget the words, drop hymnals and wiggle.  It’s okay for your child to do the same.  We believe that worship is a skill we learn over the course of our lives, and we are honored that your child is learning with us!  Children are a part of our worship and we revel in the joy that they bring!

 

Tools for You:

The Narthex:  A live feed from the sanctuary to the Narthex is broadcast during every service.  If your little one wants to move more than a pew will allow, you might be comfortable in the narthex and can still watch the service together.

The Nursery: The nursery is located on the first floor of Walker Hall and is staffed by our trained nursery staff.  All of our staff are trained and prepared to welcome any child regaurdless of age or need.

Worship Time during the 11:00 Worship Service: Following the children’s message at the 11:00 service, children ages 3- Kindergarten are invited to participate in Worship Time. Each Sunday we will learn something new about worship.  Activities are hands on and participatory encouraging children to learn more about worship together. Worship Time begins in September.  

A Note About Children’s Time: Children are invited to come forward during the service for a children’s message.  Some children enjoy charging to the front of the church and participating, others do not.  As your child is getting used to Children’s Time, you may want to join your child on one of the front pews, that would allow your child to see what’s going on without being in the center of everything.