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NOTES ON CHILDREN IN CORPORATE WORSHIP


“The days are long, but the years are short.” Have you ever heard that saying? I love that quote. It reminds me to enjoy and be grateful for the time I have with my children today. Even when we have difficult days, at least we are together.

Sometimes it feels this way on Sunday morning. We rush to get up, get breakfast, get everyone dressed, and arrive to church on time. It feels like a race! We put our children in their class, and whew! We can sit and worship. But is this the best practice for them? Are we teaching them corporate worship is only for adults?

I recently read the book Let the Children Worship by Jason Helopoulos. An awesome quick read that discusses the perspective of having children in corporate worship. The Trinity Park Leadership is not at all suggesting we stop having children’s church or nursery and toddler classes! However, since we will be taking a “vacation” for the PreK and K-2 classes the last four Sundays of July, I encourage you to take this opportunity to worship together as a family.  

I know the idea of our children sitting with us in the service can make us apprehensive. Children need to wiggle. They make noise. They get bored. But they also need to see how their parents worship. We need to set an example for them. They will benefit greatly from being in the midst of God’s people and His grace.

How does that practically work out in real life? Mr. Helopoulos offers some great suggestions and advice in his book, which you’ll find listed below.

We were all created to worship the Almighty God. Let us use this time in July to draw closer as a church body and worship together.

LET THE LITTLE CHILDREN COME TO ME, AND DO NOT HINDER THEM, FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD BELONGS TO SUCH AS THESE.  TRULY I TELL YOU, ANYONE WHO WILL NOT RECEIVE THE KINGDOM OF GOD LIKE A LITTLE CHILD WILL NEVER ENTER IT. 
— MARK 10:14-15
 

TIPS FOR CHILDREN IN CORPORATE WORSHIP

FROM JASON HELOPOULOS

1. GET EXCITED ABOUT SUNDAY MORNING SERVICE.

Talk about it during the week. Count down the days. Help them to understand what a privilege it is to worship with other Christians.

2. WORSHIP TOGETHER AS A FAMILY DURING THE WEEK.

Sing hymns, read scripture related to the sermon series, and pray together.

3. USE THE BULLETIN TO SHOW THEM WHERE YOU ARE IN THE SERVICE.

Help them follow along with the scripture reading. Point out things to them during transition times. For example: “I love this song.”  “This is my favorite passage.”

4.    MAKE THIS TIME SPECIAL.

Let them sit on your lap, put your arm around them. Children so enjoy these moments.

5.    ENCOURAGE THEM TO PARTICIPATE.

Let them take notes in their very own notebook by marking how many times they hear specific words during the service like “Jesus” or “Grace.” Let them draw a picture about the bible passage. (We will also have special note-taking pages available for the children.)

6. SIT WITH OTHER FAMILIES.

They will encourage you and be understanding if children are restless.

7. ON THE RIDE HOME, AFFIRM HOW WELL BEHAVED YOUR CHILDREN WERE.

Talk about the sermon, songs, and vision moment.

8. LASTLY, BE PATIENT WITH YOUR CHILDREN AND YOURSELF.

Show them grace. The service will not stop if a child talks too loudly or drops a book. Those around you are supportive.

 

For more information on TPC's Children's Ministry contact Monica at monica@trinityparkchurch.org.