A body is made up of many parts, and each of them has its own use. That’s how it is with us. There are many of us, but we each are part of the body of Christ, as well as part of one another. (CEV) Romans 12:4-5
Sunday morning can be challenging for some children. God says we should worship him together—and that means everyone, of all ages! But what if our kids don’t feel like they have a place at church?
When kids use their creative gifts to serve the church, it makes them feel like they belong, like it is their church (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). How can we help them do that?
Come to worship with a purpose
In the book of Acts, we see a picture of a vibrant community of people invested in each other’s lives (Acts 2:41-47). They experienced church life so vividly that it was more real to them than anything in the “real world.” If we approach worship services as an encounter with the living God, we will start to see the power and beauty of worship as a family.
One way we can do this is to prepare. Ask your church to send out the Scripture and songs ahead of time, then read them and sing them together as a family throughout the week. Talk about what they are saying. Ask your children to come up with questions they might have about the service.
Invest in your church community
Building and maintaining relationships takes a lot of creativity. For the family of God to be known by their love for each other, nurturing relationships is one of the most important things we need to do! Here are some practical ideas about how to do that:
Invite people over for dinner or out for a picnic. Get your children to help with meal preparation. As you cook, pray for your guests who are coming.
Post church family prayer requests in a prominent place in your home, and pray over them regularly at dinner or bedtime.
Think about specific ways to bless people in your church family—maybe through written encouragements, spoken affirmations, gifts, or events they might enjoy.
When someone in the church is ill, draw pictures and write notes as a family to deliver to them.
As you build relationships with those in your church family, your children will become personally invested in your church community.
Create space in worship for creativity
Look for ways in the worship service and in the life of your church for your child to participate creatively. The most effective ways will be based on your child’s particular giftings and interests. For instance, if your child likes to build with LEGO®, ask your church about doing a LEGO® building night where the kids could bring biblical stories to life to display in the sanctuary as people enter.
Bring paper and colored pencils with you to the service, and encourage your kids to doodle while listening to the message. This has been proven to help kids (and adults) maintain focus, understand new ideas, and remember things. You might try it too! Show each other your drawings afterwards.
No matter how well your church serves the needs of children, you can shape new family traditions to draw your kids into what is happening in worship and the life of your church. As they grow and understand more of what the service is about, they will be equipped to receive, understand, and ultimately worship God in deeper and more creative ways.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Creative Family Worship