Summer = Party Time!
During the summer months, many of our churches get a little more creative. Because of this seasonal flexibility, it can be a great time to try something new that will help welcome and engage children in worship. Maybe you’ve moved to a different worship schedule, gone more lax in attire, are testing out new ways of doing liturgy, or have guest preachers in the pulpit. It’s summer! Party time!
So, we’ve thought up one thing you can try out this Sunday. We hope it’ll help you welcome and engage children who come through your doors.
It can be overwhelming to think about incorporating one of those “Top 20 Changes You Must Make” articles to engage children in worship. I don’t know about you, but making twenty changes to anything is too much for me to think about. This can also be difficult for leaders to implement. It’s often confusing for parents and their kids, too. And, really, who wants more difficulty and confusion?! Not me.
Engage Children in Worship Beyond Entertainment
To truly engage children in worship, we have to move our thinking beyond entertaining them. Simply keeping them occupied may keep them quiet. But, unfortunately, it doesn’t accomplish the goal of welcoming, engaging, and teaching them.
As children participate in worship they learn how a life of faith looks and feels. We are experiential creatures as humans. The children will take with them how they were involved in worship as they grow and look back on their faith journey. So, it’s important that worship is experiential for them, and really for all of us. If we engage children in worship, we’re almost certainly going to engage the adults, too. Win-win!
Invitation to Participate
Leaders who make an intentional effort to do this help children feel welcome in church. And welcoming children doesn’t have to require a ton of preparation. In fact, this one thing you can do on Sunday morning that would engage children in worship is simply to invite them to be a part of it. If there are sections of the service that would be appropriate for children to assist with, ask them if they’d like to help. Children who are active members of a congregation tend to gain more ownership of their faith journey and often possess a deeper desire to become an integral and lasting part of a faith community in the future.
The significance they will feel as individual parts of their church and their understanding of worship practices is invaluable. If you’re interested in learning ways to specifically invite children into playing an active role in worship, we’ve made it easy to download a few of our ideas! Click here to download our list of ideas – and then pick ONE to try and implement this Sunday.
What are the ways you engage children in worship in your congregation? Share what’s been fruitful in the comment section.
We had a children’s mini sermon. The kids two to ten wouldjoin Pastor in the front, sit on the steps up to the altar, and have a kid-friendly talk related to the regular sermon. The mini usually was accompanied with visuals and things to pass around and examine. Adults focused in as well–great for unchurched visitors, too.
Alissa @ ICM says
The children’s sermon is often even more valuable to the adults than it is to the children since it boils it all down, making it digestible for us all! Thanks for sharing, Barb!
Connie Lou Swanson says
One thing we have done is invite the children to come up and play rhythm instruments on the last song at the contemporary worship service, child size tambourines, egg shakers, maracas etc. After several years of doing so many requested they too, be able to play rhythm instruments, so now the ushers pass them out to everyone during the last song.
Alissa @ ICM says
Love this, Connie! What a gift to offer the congregation. Isn’t it so often the kids who lead the way? Thanks for sharing!
Rise Alexander says
We have designated every 4th Sunday as Youth Sunday, so the children /youth do opening call to worship, devotional reading, prayer, welcome, and church announcements. The music is traditional and youth, the sermon is geared toward the youth. We also have Youth ushers.
Alissa @ ICM says
What a fabulous idea, Alexander! Your congregation, including the kids, are blessed to have that as a regular part of the worship schedule. Thanks for sharing!
We have kids hold the basket for empty communion cups at every service. They follow the bread and wine servers. Some as young as 3 years have helped. Kids and parents are proud, congregation LOVES seeing the kids! We also have them help with offering if they have helped their parents or an older friend. All are part of Body of Christ!
Jennifer Matthews says
Thanks so much for all the brilliant suggestions /ideas. Looking forward to learn more. Strongly feel the youth need to feel part of the sermon and take ownership of the congregation. God bless your ministry
Mary Hawes says
We have a rota that isn’t a rota! All the tasks that need doing (light candles, ring bell, bring Communion elements forward, read the Bible, tidy up, take the collection, blow out candles etc etc) are at the door on large, laminated cards. Families choose what to do as they arrive.
Rachael Brooks says
love this idea!