“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:10 Children belong in worship because they are a part of God’s people. They learn to worship by worshipping.
While waiting for Worship to begin:
- Read what hymns will be sung.
- Find the scripture reading in the Bible so you can read along at the correct time.
- Think of things you want to pray about during the Pastoral Prayer.
- Mark a star for times everyone stands up.
During the Sermon:
- Draw a circle around anything in the bulletin you don’t understand.
- Ask about it after the service. Put a check mark by the parts you want to talk about.
- Draw a picture of a hymn or one of the readings or something you see or hear.
- Getting ready to worship begins on Saturday night. Remind children of your expectations. Remind yourself that no one expects children to be absolutely silent.
- Visit the bathroom before church begins.
- Don’t bring distracting toys or games to the sanctuary.
- Do bring a notepad so children can draw about what they hear. Talk about their drawings on the way home.
- Sit as a family. When we stand, let the small children stand on the chairs so they can see.
- Worship WITH and not BESIDE children. Those who can’t read can hum or la-la along. Help young readers find the hymns and scripture. Whisper instructions – it’s not a sin to whisper in church. Guide children through the worship bulletin.
- Let the children pass the offering plate.
- Children’s Bulletins for preschool and early readers are available from the ushers or in a basket with a lollipop on Communion Sundays if parents want to give them to the children during the Message.
The Congregation Welcomes Children
Remember the promise we make at the dedication of a child to nurture them in Christian life. Children must be present in worship to learn how to worship.
As you welcome adults, welcome children also. Speak to them and not just to their parents. Offer positive reinforcement about worship behavior to the child and to the parent. Pass the offering plate to children, not over their heads. Thank and encourage children who participate in worship by being ushers, choir members, or readers.
Be patient with the learning process. We are all children of God. Growing up isn’t always easy, but it is worth the effort. Remember Proverbs 22:6, “Train children in the right way, and when they are old, they will not stray.” Let children know the church is a place they are loved and are safe. Consider asking children to sit with you instead of their parents sometimes.