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Welcoming and Including Children in Worship

Children

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Need another resource?  Looking for advice? Please contact Kathy Pittenger.

Welcoming Children 

Announcement

Sometime during the service, the liturgist or pastor makes a statement about how children are welcome in worship, why, and how members of the congregation can care for one another.

Pew Cards

Some churches provide a "pew card" that shares a message for grown-ups with children and for members of the congregation about why children are welcome and how we can care for one another.

Examples:

Building Faith Article with several examples

Pew Cards from Traci Smith ($)

Welcoming and Including Children in Worship 

Including Children in the Service

Children learn through modeling, play, experience, etc. Invite children and trusted grown-ups to serve together at church. Ideas include: ushering, Acolyte, Liturgist (older elementary children can read Scripture, younger children can announce a hymn or song or stand with an adult), music (children's choir, solo, etc.), include child/youth friendly elements in a sermon such as sharing a story or example that they can relate to, inviting people to listen for a specific word and keep track of how many times the preacher says it, etc.), Interactive worship components (drama, storytelling, images, etc.), or worship notes for children/youth.

Praygrounds

The Prayground (also known as a Grace Space) is an intentional area in the worship space for children and families to participate in worship. The space is often created in a way that welcomes young children through elementary age children with quiet toys, books, and objects that relate to the Scripture, season or theme. Praygrounds are often near the front of the sanctuary so children can see and hear, but they can be placed wherever it works the best in the worship area. View pictures of different Praygrounds from around the Michigan Conference below. To learn more you can download the Prayground Brochure.

Worship Bags/Boxes

Praygrounds are not the only way to include children. Some worship spaces are not conducive to this type of space and renovating is not an option. Another option is to provide worship bags or boxes or provide a table of options that children can choose from. Items you may want to consider including are:

  • Blank Paper
  • Crayons
  • Pipe Cleaners (Chenille Stems)
  • Legos type blocks
  • Finger Labyrinths
  • Magnet Tiles (for older children)
  • Magna-Doodle (or similar)
  • Soft blocks
  • Fidget Busters
  • More!!

Read more from Traci Smith

Purchasing Items for a Prayground


Area Rugs - Often a Google search is a good place to start, then compare prices. The one from Annual Conference was purchased at hayneedle.com. Other suggestions include: 

  • www.wayfair.com
  • www.rtrkidsrugs.com
  • www.cmresourceco.com
  • www.rugsusa.com
  • www.teacherssupply.com
  • www.schooloutfitters.com

Child Friendly Furniture

  • Locally owned small businesses
  • www.wayfair.com
  • www.ikea.com
  • www.discountschoolsupply.com

Toys, sensory items, baby items, boxes, cleaning supplies, etc.

  • Locally owned small businesses
  • www.amazon.com
  • Local stores

Books

  • Locally owned small businesses
  • www.cokesbury.com
  • www.flyawaybooks.com
  • www.christianbook.com
  • www.amazon.com

Additional Resources

  • www.illustratedchildrensministry.com (coloring pages that may go along with sermon series or seasons)

(The merchants above are listed solely for the convenience of the reader. The Michigan Conference does not endorse any of the merchants, and neither the conference nor its employees are receiving any remuneration from any merchant listed hereinabove.)

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