Why children in worship?
John Westerhoff, a leading Christian educator, believes that children are necessary in worship. Westerhoff suggests that faith is "caught" not "taught." What better way for children to know what faith is all about than to be a full part of a community.
When a child is baptized in our midst and made a member of the church of Jesus Christ, the adults of the congregation promise to be active in nurturing that child's faith. We need to work together to nurture our children in their faith and to be nurtured by them in return. Children give us the gift of trust and a fresh point of view; adults can share the gift of acceptance, experience and the wisdom of the church through the ages.
Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Luke 9:48
May we suggest:
- Relax! God put the wiggle in children. Don't feel like you have to suppress it in God's house.
- Use a gentle touch: an arm around your child's shoulder, your hand in his/hers to give reassurance and appropriate attention.
- The nursery, located in Room 2 of the Education Wing, is available for infants and preschoolers who may grow restless during the service.
- Explain quitely the parts of the service.
- Help your child find the pages in the hymnal. It is okay if they stand on the pew to see and to sing.
- Do not be distressed if your child does not find the proper page.
- Sing the hymns, pray and voice responses. Children learn good behavior in church by copying yours.
- Always remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, God and Christ.
- Let them know they are at home in this liturgy of praise and thanksgiving.
Tell me...I'll forget.
Show me...I may remember.
Involve me...and I'll understand.