At times, a corporate worship service is viewed as the adult worship service. In reality, it’s a time for everyone. Even young children can participate in and learn from their experiences in congregational worship. Children can sing songs, participate in offering, pray, and listen to the sermon. As kids ministry leaders, we need to help parents, young children, and church members make kids’ transition to corporate worship a win.
One way to help parents is to provide resources and helps to educate them with tips on making the transition easier. These simple tips include, bringing a church bag filled with a child’s Bible and quiet activities such as: paper and crayons to take notes or draw pictures about the sermon, stickers, and chenille stems. Encourage parents to take their child to the restroom before entering the service. Also, encourage them to sit where the child can see the stage. Other tips include laying out clothes and the church bag the night before and preparing their own hearts and minds for worship by discussing what they may experience during the worship service. One resource available for parents and teachers is When I Go to Church: Guiding Preschoolers in Worship.
Beginning to attend corporate worship is a milestone and should be celebrated. Decide as a church how you can make it special for families. Ideas include “Pancakes with the Pastor,” “New Kid on the Pew Luncheon,” or a “Big Enough Breakfast.” One church does an event called “Camp Big Enough.” More details about this event can be found here. Events like these can include a tour of the Sanctuary, meeting with ministerial staff and church leaders, and activities to familiarize the child with parts of the service.
Kids ministries can make the transition a win for families. How does your church welcome young children to corporate worship? Share your ideas in the comments below.
Delanee Williams serves as a Ministry Specialist with Lifeway Kids. She is a graduate of Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Delanee has served in kids ministry for over twenty years and is passionate about developing, equipping and encouraging leaders.