The other night, my husband and I had dinner with our daughter and son-in-law. They made a special dinner and had the table set with the “fancy” tableware. But there was one hitch to this elegant dinner—4 children were included, too, our grandchildren, ages 1 to 5 years old. Let’s just say that the children put a distinctive twist on the ambiance of the meal. Even with all the challenges and distractions, we were glad they were there…It was a joyful mess! Their parents have employed a type of “system” for mealtime that helps both children and adults.
In previous posts, we have highlighted the amazing benefits for welcoming children into the corporate worship service. But let’s not gloss over some of the challenges. It’s a little like inviting a group of young children to a fine dining experience—some adjustments have to be made. This should be a loving, cooperative strategy involving both parents and church. Sometimes parents just need some practical help and resources. Sometimes that church needs to make a few adjustments and give the whole church community a vision for welcoming children. Below are some resources that we believe will be helpful:
For the Church
“Let the Children Come to Me in Worship” (video), in which Pastor David Michael lays out a biblical vision and philosophy for encouraging children to be in the corporate worship service.
“Strategies for Engaging Children in the Worship Service” (audio), in which Sally Michael gives very practical advice for parents.
8 Tips for Helping Your Child Worship—a free brochure.
My Church Notebook is designed to guide elementary-aged children to participate in the service. It teaches them to actively listen to the sermon, take notes, recognize key points, ask questions, and discover more about God and His ways.
Read the Full Children in the Church Service Series
Part 1: A Summer of Worshiping Together—Let the Children Come!
Part 2: Including Our Children in the Central Activity of the Church
Part 3: Inviting Children to Experience Worship of God
Part 4: Inviting Children as a Means of Discipleship
Part 5: "Let Them Come"—Help for Church and Parents