Children & Worship
We welcome children in worship. We believe worshiping as a family is an important part of each person’s faith journey. Children learn what it means to worship God by observing the examples of adults. Also, we offer materials and elements of worship that enable children to experience God in their own way during the service. Here are some suggestions for parents and learning opportunities for children in worship:
- Often we are asked about what to wear. There is no church dress code, and you will notice a variety of attire. The important thing is to teach our children what it means to bring your best to God. Sometimes our best is a suit and tie or your best dress, and sometimes our best is just managing to show up with both shoes on. God is concerned with our heart, not your fashion sense.
- Encourage children to take a drink and to use the bathroom before church to minimize the need to exit during the service.
- Crying is ok, baby talk is ok, never worry that your children are a bother–we are happy there are with us, even if they are having a rough day. We have all had rough days!
- Make Sunday worship a regular part of the time you spend with children, consistency is an enormous comfort to children. By creating routines, we can provide structure and framework to learn more about an experience such as Sunday worship over time.
- Explain worship as you understand it and share stories from the Bible and from personal experience.
- Visit the Worship Arts page, here, to learn about the church year. You will learn to anticipate these changes in church, such as changes in the seasons, colors in the sanctuary, observance of sacraments and will be able to explain these changes to children. Let them ask you and the staff lots of questions! Find answers together!
- Establish non-verbal signals that can be used with your child during worship about standing up and sitting down, and needing to go to the bathroom, etc.
Participating in Worship
- Help children greet other members of the congregation and include children as introductions are made, we want to get to know you!
- Pick up a bulletin for each child. Assist them in following the readings or singing by using the bulletin to underline verses or stanzas.
- You can prepare children for Holy Communion by inviting children to walk with you so that they might see and hear this ritual. In the United Methodist Church, children are invited to take Communion when they feel ready. We believe God’s grace is always ready to meet them in this Sacrament.
- Share the Bible and the hymnbook with children. Help them find the readings in the Bible. Encourage them to dog-ear the hymns that are going to be used.
- Assist children to rise when the congregation stands since this stretches muscles and encourages participation.
- Provide a coin for the offering to teach about sharing and stewardship. Children may bring their offering to the Time on the Steps or put their money in the offering plate and help pass the plate to the next person.
- Watch for opportunities to participate. Children are invited to participate in a variety of ways. We have strong Acolyte program and also invite children help serve Communion, do readings, and usher if they wish. If your child is interested, the staff will be happy to talk with you.