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Where Should Children Worship?



Where should Children worship?

Children's Ministry and Worship is a hot topic in churches and among parents.

3 Benefits of Keeping Kids with Adults

1. The first benefit of keeping kids in worship is that Children learn by example. Having children in the worship service helps them learn how to worship in your worship space by watching and listening to what is going on around them.

I like to have my son sit and stand during the worship service when appropriate, follow along in the bulletin, and participate in our children's time. Over the years, it was so much fun to listen to the questions our son would ask about the things that happen during a worship service. He always made it a game to figure out where the organ music was coming from.

2. Children feel included in the greater body of Christ. Jesus said “let the little children come to me.” The body of Christ is made up of all ages. Including children in the worship service, not only helps them feel included, but emphasizes that Jesus is for all people.

We have acolytes at our church and my son was thrilled when he was finally old enough to serve as an acolyte. He had watched acolyte's actively for about 6 months. He built up his own excitement to serve. His first Sunday as an acolyte, just about a month ago was one of our proudest moments.

3. Worshipers will be inspired by your children. The laughter of a child is pure joy that even the most stodgy church member will have difficulty smiling at. Children bring a joy and energy to a worship service that goes unrivaled.

Seriously..who can compete with the smile and laughter of a child? My husband, when he pastored a church (now he pastor's college students), was frequently interrupted by the laughs and cries of babies during worship. He always managed to address the baby before moving on with his sermon because really...who can compete with a baby?

3 Benefits of Separating Kids out into their own Worship Space

1.The first benefit of separating kids out of your worship space is that they can be taught the parts of worship in ways that kids learn best. In a Children’s Church or Kids worship setting, children can learn in depth and at their own pace. {such things as: why do we stand at certain moments? What is a sermon? What is an offering?)

At a previous church I served, we had a separate worship service for elementary aged kids during one of our worship services. My son loved this worship service. He could be noisy, and wiggle, and explore scripture and music in a different way. The kids worship service followed the same order of worship as "big church" in order to prepare the kids for worshiping with adults. The kids were taught the prayers, the meaning of the different parts of a worship service, and practiced communion every Sunday. There's a lot I could go into about the awesome kids worship service but I'll save that for another post.

2.Kids can worship in only ways kids can worship. A worship service for kids is a great way to explore worshiping in different ways from adults…like movement…lots of movement, loud voices, games, shorter sermons, etc.

3.You can tailor a separate worship service to the different kids you have attending. Kids learn in different ways. Giving kids their own space to worship allows the opportunity to create a space that can be uniquely tailored to the different kids attending.

Honestly, there are benefits to both sides of the worship coin. The ultimate decision is up to parents and to church leaders. I don't think there is a "right" answer for a church but I do think there is a "right" answer for your individual child. Personally, my son has been involved in both styles and has benefited from both.

Peace,

Shawn

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© 2017 by Shawn M Howell.          

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