Smaller churches can rock at this one! Though we plan our sermon series a year in advance, we don’t have the limits that many large churches have. We do have a worship committee, but by serving on it as the staff liaison, involving the kids is gladly welcomed.
Worship is how we adore the Lord of all creation. Worship is also our response to what the Lord has done, is doing, and who He is. Worship is song and giving and being fully present among His people. Worship is regular, personal and corporate, and participatory. We can continue to nurture a child’s call into ministry through worship.
Kids love parades, so processionals for World Communion Sunday (loaves of bread), All Saints Sunday (names of people drawn/written on cards), and Thankful Sunday (items kids are thankful for expressed through drawings of homes, families, items of importance) all presented on the altar table. Jumping into Summer Sunday School shared by kids jumping rope on the front lawn before services as people are arriving for worship. Posters of specific themes decorated and lining the narthex hallways invite the artistic to share their love of art.
Allow them to intern in the tech booth or take up the offering. Yes, they’ll wave Palm Branches on Palm Sunday, but let the CLUB345 kids cut out hundreds of paper palm branches to insert in the hymnals on a specific page number so the whole congregation can participate.
Teach kids how to take notes from the sermon….if the sermon is on Salt & Light, let them tally how many times they hear the words SALT and LIGHT. Our CLUB345 kids prepare luminaries to line the walkways for Christmas Eve and they clean them up after the last service of the night with their families. Let them hand out takeaways after the service in a theme relative to the sermon series. Invite them pour out/pump out hot chocolate at the Easter Sunrise service. Invite kids to acknowledge specific groups like Boy Scout Sunday and Girl Scout Sunday….they can wear their uniforms to church, hand out bulletins, and initiate the pledge of allegiance.
Don’t forget the importance of a Call & Response in the worship service for them to talk. Invite children to share prayer requests and be sure to say the Lord’s Prayer or Apostle’s Creed when the entire congregation does. I even teach them a few simple sign language motions for specific words they’ll hear all the time in worship, so they can do them all together. This month? We’re all getting egg shakers to be a part of the praise band from our seats. Egg shakes are handed out at the end of Sunday School and returned to the bucket in the narthex for next week.
The worship service is in community and it’s regular and it’s important. Inviting and involving children in community worship offers spiritual memories, accomplishment, and worship teaching as another means of nurturing each child’s call into ministry.
“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.” Psalm 103:1