Do you have children’s worship during your Sunday morning service?
If so, you might have music, games, snack, special activities and Bible study. I love all these components of children’s worship. We can use many creative ways to open children’s eyes to understand God’s word, and children’s worship can be a great avenue.
And while I have led children’s worship service for years, I also have struggled with whether we should have it during the Sunday morning service. I have four questions for us to wrestle through as we all seek to see what fits with our church and children’s ministry.
- What benefits would children have if they sat in the Sunday morning corporate worship service?
First, if a child is sitting with family, they will be witness to different biblical components. They will see baptisms and people participate in the Lord’s Supper.
They will know who their preacher and other ministers are, and they will see many other attributes of corporate worship they truly cannot see in children’s worship.
Also, if a child is participating in the service he or she can ask questions about the sermon, the Lord’s Supper, baptism or anything else he or she sees.
Second, children will feel part of the corporate church because, if they are believers, they are part of the corporate church.
Third, children will see their parents worship and serve the Lord. Do you take an offering in children’s worship? I have done that before, and it is great, kids love it — but what if a child sees Dad as the one passing the offering plate?
In children’s worship I am sure you have fun songs. What if a child saw Mom singing in the choir or singing a solo? If grade schoolers are sitting in the Sunday morning service, they see their parents worship and serve.
Fourth, when is another time children will see their parents worship like this? The answer is only on Sunday mornings. Parents should be their children’s main spiritual guide, and if they never worship with their parents, how can they imitate them?
- What if children’s worship was another night?
I love children’s worship. I love being creative and thinking of fun games, songs and activities for the kids to participate in to learn God’s word.
Moving children’s worship to another day allows them to still have worship geared toward their age level while also having them in Sunday corporate worship.
Many reasons exist about why this option works, but one really sticks out to me: What if a child only went to children’s worship or only stayed in the preschool area from when he or she was born to ages 10 or 11?
When that child does sit in the service, he or she might not know what to do or how to act. They might not understand what is going on.
Allowing them to sit in the service with their family benefits the children in the long run.
- How do you help parents teach their children to participate and worship during the church service?
Speak with ministers to get their help. Ask your pastor to plug in illustrations in the sermon children will understand.
Ask your minister of music to sing a song with which the children are familiar.
You also can have a children’s message that connects to the sermon.
Another idea is to set up a specific area near the sanctuary to provide resources to help children stay connected during the sermon.
At our church we have something called “Kid’s Corner,” simply a basket of clipboards with the weekly newsletter, a sermon notes sheet and an activity sheet that goes along with the sermon, along with crayons and pencils.
Some children need something to do with their hands while they listen and this helps.
Will this system be perfect? No, but it is a step in discipling children in how to worship God.
- Is children’s worship bad?
Children’s worship is not bad at all. Perhaps you have children’s worship for certain grades or only twice a month.
Maybe your church does not meet on another night so Sunday morning is the only time you have with children.
Do what best fits your church, your schedule and your volunteers.
Children’s worship is a time where you can be creative and silly while also speaking the love of God into children.
As you continue to pray and wrestle over what your church will do, check out the “Why They St(r)ay” book by Steve Parr and Tom Crites to help guide you in what your next step will be in children’s ministry.
First published in The Baptist Paper.