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Preparing children for worship

Prepared by Nicole Lu, Director of Children’s Ministry, Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church. Email Nicole at this link.

Unrealistic Expectations of Children in Worship

  • To sit for 30+ minutes for message
  • To apply message to life
  • To truly listen to the message
  • To take it seriously
  • To participate fully

Realistic Expectations of Children in Worship

  • Not a spectator sport – they learn from adults around them
  • Participate in as much as they can (standing, singing, collect offering)
  • Ask questions and talk
  • Move around
  • Tune out at different times

Equipping Parents to Worship with Children

  • Help parents understand what worship is, how people worship, the purpose of worship, and how they should worship. Worship is not something we do just at church
  • Help parents see the value of worshiping with their children
  • Help parents set positive examples and have positive attitude about their children attending worship with them.

Guide Parents to…

  • Accept the God-given responsibility to nurture their children’s spiritual development.
  • Consider it an honor to lead their children in worship
  • Maintain regular attendance
  • Participate with their children in worship.
  • Remember the developmental characteristics of their children.
  • Encourage their children to participate as well.
  • Pray for and with their children
  • Recommended Book: When I Go to Church

Preparing for the Worship Experience…

  • Show your love for God during the week.
  • Apply Deuteronomy 6:7
  • Say “thank you” before meals and throughout the week.
  • Include conversations about God in everyday life.
  • View attending church as a special family event.
  • Make sure your child gets enough sleep on Saturday night.
  • Decide on what to wear to church on Saturday night.
  • Start Sunday with prayer.
  • Plan ahead/Get up early so the family is not rushed.
  • Provide a nourishing breakfast.
  • Stay calm and pleasant.
  • Enjoy travel time as a good opportunity for family time and positive conversation.
  • Be on time for worship.
  • Take your child to the bathroom and let him/her get a drink of water before going into the service.
  • Remove your child from worship service if his/her behavior is very distracting, explain his/her behavior is not acceptable, allow him/her to calm down, and then return to the worship service.
  • Provide your child with his/her own Bible.
  • Allow you child to take a “Big Church” bag with him/her – a “Big Church” bag is a bag for your child’s Bible and belongings needed for church
  • Encourage your child to listen for familiar names and words.
  • Provide your child with an offering to place in the offering plate or basket.
  • Talk with your child about things he/she will see or experience during the worship service.

Following the Worship Experience

  • Comment on your child’s behavior.
  • Ask questions related to the songs, sermon, and other things the child experiences.
  • Avoid negative comments about the worship service.
  • Mention the service in casual conversation throughout the week.
  • Answer questions the child has about experiences, words, or actions in the worship service.

Equipping the Congregation to Worship with Children

Guide the Congregation to…

  • See worshiping with children as a part of the Body of Christ.
  • Value the opportunities to worship with children and invest in the future generation.
  • Hold realistic expectations of children in worship.
  • Recognize and speak to children in worship.
  • Expect children to participate in worship.
  • Maintain positive attitude related to children in worship.
  • Partner with/mentor parents as they help their children to worship.
  • Realize children attending intergenerational worship may have never experienced this style of worship.
  • Speak in terms the children can understand.
  • Provide positive role models and examples for children.

Equipping Children for Worship

  • Talk with the children about what to expect before the worship service.
  • Talk about expectations of the children during the service.
  • Expect the children to participate.
  • Define words that children may not understand.
  • Encourage the children to take notes.
  • Encourage the children to ask questions.
  • Take the children to go to the bathroom and get water before entering the worship service.
  • Provide a “Big Church” bag – some churches that have intergenerational services every week provide this bag when new children join the service
  • Provide paper for children to take notes.

Equipping the Staff to Include Children in Worship

  • Avoid preaching sermons designed only for adults with careers, families, payments, and adult-centered themes.
  • Make references to things children experience and can relate to.
  • Define the terms children may not understand.
  • Explain ordinances such as the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.
  • Keep the children’s developmental levels in mind when planning and leading worship.
  • Avoid the urge to provide more entertainment than actual worship experience for children.
  • Remember children are concrete thinkers.
  • Paying attention to children in the worship service.
  • Provide first hand experiences for children to participate in.
  • Provide children’s worship bulletins designed with pastor’s message for the children to take notes.

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English Service 10 AM (Worship Hall 3)

Worship Location

Enter through door 1 from rear parking lot.


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