Some excellent ideas from a Presbyterian pastor on how to make worship more inclusive for children (and adults). A comment in a response to her article really struck me, “The one thing I would be very cautious about is the language that is used for why children are not in the sanctuary during the sermon. For the past 50 years or so we have been telling children they can’t be in worship because the sermon is “boring”, or other such language that says they won’t enjoy it. Then they get into middle school or high school and suddenly we think they are going to magically enjoy being in worship. But they’ve been told for the past twelve or more years that they won’t enjoy it, they won’t have fun, they won’t learn anything, that they will be bored. And then we wonder why we lose them.”
Read Theresa Cho’s whole posting from her blog, “Still Waters” here: Children in Worship: It’s More than Having Coloring Sheets.
3 thoughts on “Children in Worship: It’s More than Having Coloring Sheets”
When I have done Children’s Chapel in the past (leaving after the Gospel, coming back at the Peace), I have always been clear that this is not play time, but rather that we are doing church at an age appropriate level for the children. Children’s sermon, prayers, singing, etc. It’s not about Church being boring, it’s about using age-appropriate ways of communicating God’s word to everyone and letting them interact with the word at an age-appropriate level.
I often think we underestimate children and their ability to get caught up in the special atmosphere that prevails when worship is well planned and well executed. Also, if a sermon is boring for young people, it’s probably boring for adults. Since the writer of the article recognizes that we cannot assume that those in the pews are familiar with the stories in the Bible, why not bring them forth (especially those in the Old Testament, which are very dramatic)?