Why Should we have Children in Worship?
Excerpt from “Children at Worship: Bring Them or Ban Them? By William Korte, Group Magazine October 1990
1. Family worship helps children see themselves as part of the Christian body. Funneling children into a “children’s service” can instill in them a “separatist” perspective on the body of Christ. Kids need to know they’re a part of God’s family – and that includes the young, old and in-betweeners. Aside from family meals, the worship service may be the one event that involves all family members (offsetting the more than 25 hours per week of television watched by children age 2-5).
2. The worship service is a banquet for children’s senses. Even the youngest children are affected by the sensory elements of worship. Organs, pianos, choirs and musical instruments bring richness to worship and make it interesting and stimulating. And the bright colors of stained-glass windows and flowers fascinate children.
3. Church rituals bring comfort to kids. Children quickly accept routine and ritual in worship. During their infancy, our children slept through most every worship service. In adults, this is a sign of boredom and fatigue. But in infants, it’s a sign of acceptance and comfort. That’s why parents should let their children sleep during services – even during the sermon!
4. Involvement is the key to retaining kids’ interest. Kids’ involvement in a worship service can be as simple as placing an envelope in the offering plate, holding a worship book with a parent, praying a familiar prayer or singing a song. The more children participate, the more they learn.
5. A worship service is one of the few places children can learn about reverence. Corporate worship develops a sense of God’s holiness. The pastor and other worship leaders provide visual reminders of how God comes to us as a firm yet gentle leader. Children are affected by their surroundings. They’ll learn how to honor God if they’re around others who worship Him.
6. Family services encourage greater church involvement. When kids look forward to church, they’ll often prod their parents into going more regularly. And parents who sit with their kids during worship and then send to Sunday School classes may be motivated to get involved in adult education. A one hour commitment to church each week is too little for both children and parents.
Tips on Worshiping with Your Child
Dear Parents with Young Children in Church Read this blog post by Jamie Bruesehoff, a pastor's wife and watch an interview with her.
Teaching your children to sit still
Help children learn to listen carefully in church with these Listening pages. The worksheets contain a list of “church” words. Encourage your child to listen carefully so that they can put tally marks next to each of the words they hear during the service. For listening pages for non-readers, click here.