*Children’s Worship

Welcoming Children into Worship

…a resource for all of us

 At First United Methodist Church of Crown Point, we love having children in attendance in our services and in our Children’s Ministry programs.  We understand that they may be a little noisy or may need to move around and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We are here to support you and your family in your walk with faith.  We consider ourselves to be a family and hope that you feel at home with us!
 
Children offer many gifts to enrich worship for all of us.  We recognize that they are important member of our church family and we joyfully welcome them into all aspects of our worship.  Some of the lessons children learn while worshipping with their church family are:
  • They build memories of shared experiences of Christian community
  • They are enriched by the beauty of music and art as creative expressions of praise to God
  • They hear stories from the Bible read and interpreted, and begin to experience worship as one place where God may speak to them
  • They discover that they are valued as persons by God and by God’s people.
 
Suggestions for Young Children
A young child often has a limited attention span, seemingly unlimited energy, and an awesome curiosity about everything. Suggestions to help make a young child’s experience more relaxed and meaningful include:
  • Sit near the front of the Sanctuary where the child can clearly see what is going on up front
  • Prepare the child for the different parts of the service.  Explain special events ahead of time and answer questions that need an answer right now in a quiet whisper
  • Ask an usher for a Children’s Bulletin and some crayons
  • Allow the child to bring a favorite stuffed animal or other quiet toy/activity along, or help them choose a book to borrow for the service (available on the rack in the Narthex)
By being sensitive to a young child’s abilities and needs, you can make worship a more pleasant and meaningful experience for everyone.  Encourage them to participate in the parts of the service where you feel comfortable. For instance, even very young children can help find page numbers in hymnals or the Bible and start to learn songs and the Lord’s Prayer.
 
 
Suggestions for Older Children
A school aged child brings new abilities to worship:  greater capacity for attentive listening, increasing ability to read, and the ability to organize and even memorize information.  Suggestions to help them participate more in worship as their abilities develop include:
  • Help the child help with parts of worship that involve reading (Call to Worship, Scripture reading, song lyrics, etc.)
    • preview the bulletin with the child to find and identify new words
    • help the child follow along with the Scripture reading in a pew Bible or have them bring their own
    • practice songs with your child during the week to help them feel comfortable during our time of music and praise
    • help the child take notes on the sermon (often our bulletins include fill-in-the-blank) sermon notes
  • Ask an usher for the appropriate Children’s Bulletin and allow the child to bring colored pencils or pens
  • Encourage the child to listen to the sermon for stories, answers to questions, or important thoughts
  • Talk about the sermon after church and ask them what they remembered best about the sermon
  • Involve your child in our Children’s Ministry programs to help them feel more included in the church family
Suggestions for Families
  • Arrive on time in order to find a place to sit that works well for you and where your child can see what is going on
  • Visit the bathroom right before entering the sanctuary
  • Encourage your child to stand when you stand, fold hands and pray when you pray, and sing when you sing
  • Express your joy at having your child in the worship service
Suggestions for All of Us
  • Express your joy that children are worshipping with you and send the occasional smile in their direction
    • During greeting time, please include children in your greetings.
  • Help the parents and guardians of young children by showing your support and appreciation of our little ones
  • Appreciate the special gifts that children bring with them to worship:  an eye for wonder, a zest for praising God, and a desire to fellowship with you
  • Include children in your conversations before and after worship to let them know that they belong here