We Value and Nurture Children
Their presence in worship grows out of Biblical precedence1 and our conviction that children are members of the covenant family of God, the body of Christ.
Perhaps they won’t understand what is going on or being said,
but they can understand that this is a place where they are loved, accepted, and needed.
When our children are baptized the congregation promises to nurture each baptized child in the Christian life. We take this responsibility seriously, and welcome children as part of our worshiping family, because worship is a singularly important act of being a Christian community.
We encourage parents to bring young children into each worship service for all or part of the time, so that they may begin to learn traditions by their participation. Worship activity bags are available from the Deacons to assist children getting the most out of worship. In our Traditional Worship service, following the Time with Young Disciples, child and toddler care is available during worship for children from birth to four years of age, and Sunday School for children through sixth grade, for parents who desire it.
Parents are encouraged to worship with their children and to promote their children’s growth as disciples through worship.
Tips for Worshiping with Children
Children learn worship etiquette by participating. We want to see and hear them worshiping God with us.
For All Worshipers
- Children often feel invisible; take time to greet them before and after the service.
- Invite a child you know to sit with you from time to time, even when the child’s parent(s) are present.
- Remember that children learn worship etiquette by watching you.
- Complement parents and children on their worship skills to help them grow in faith.
- During the passing of the peace, greet children as well as their parents.
- Hand offering plates to children, not over their heads.
- Talk about worship at home.
- Make use of the worship activity bags so they might occupy their hands by coloring.
- Sit near the front. Children get more out of worship when they can see. They behave better too!
- Allow time to get settled.
- Interact with your child during the worship service.
- Help your children follow the order for worship to find when to stand, sit, or come forward.
- Help older children find the Scripture lessons in the Bible, follow hymns in the hymnal, and encourage them to listen to prayers and to the sermon.
- Feel free to whisper instructions to them to help them learn.
1 Many Bible passages encourage teaching the faith to our children. Here are a few: Deut. 4:8-9; Deut. 6:7; Psalm 78:1-8; Matt. 19:13-15.