Children grow in Christ in a multitude of ways. During formal worship they:
- Learn that they belong to Christ and are welcome in church, where we are all children of God.
- Experience Jesus through communion.
- Experience a deep sense of community.
- Are enriched by the beauty of music and art as expressions of praise and as human responses to God.
- Hear Bible stories and begin to see Christian worship as one place where God speaks to them.
- Discover that they are valued as persons by God and by the people of God.
How Parents can Welcome Children in Worship
- Find a good place to sit. We encourage families with children to sit towards the front so that the children can hear and see well. (Some choose to sit near the back entrance in order to make a convenient exit if necessary.)
- Guide the children throughout the service. Encourage children to participate in whatever ways they are able. Hold the hymnal and bulletin at their eye level. Ask an usher for a large-print bulletin for younger children.
- Talk with your children about worship. Notice together the changes in worship from season to season. Talk about the readings and sermon you hear.
- Enjoy worship together. Free yourself form excessive worry about behavior.
How the Congregation can Welcome Children in Worship
- Acknowledge the presence of children. Greet them and learn their names.
- Remember the promises we make to children at baptism. Children learn by observing Christian traditions we model as well as by experiencing them for themselves.
- Demonstrate through your behavior the love and acceptance found with in the body of Christ.
- Enjoy the gifts that children bring to the worship community. When children are part of the service, respond to them as worship leaders.
- Find opportunities to sit with children whose parents are choir members, ushers, or readers. Occasionally invite a child you know to sit with you during worship even when the parent is there.
How Children can help lead in Worship
- Singing! Children’s Choir meets once a week and sings monthly during the 9:00 service.
- Reading! Children are invited to be readers during church.
- Acolyting! Children who are in second grade and older are welcome to serve as acolytes at the 9:00 service. Acolytes at the 10:30 service are in middle school and older.
*Thanks in part to First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor.*