Including children in worship
Children are part of our worshipping community.
A child's journey in the Christian faith may begin at baptism. For some their journey of faith may lead to baptism.
At a child's baptism, we, as baptised members of the faith community, promise to help our children on their Christian journey. As the community of the baptised, we have a responsibility to keep this promise to our children.
This nurture in the Christian faith starts from our children’s very earliest experiences of being part of our faith community.
We need to look at those earliest experiences and provide the very best we can for our children.
Young children need to be:
Able to feel they belong
Experiencing the Christian community as a good place to be
What young children experience from their parents and the faith community they grow up in, is the bedrock of their faith development.
How we welcome and get to know the children in our faith community is crucial to their nurture in the Christian faith. How do we provide the best possible welcome for our youngest children in our faith community?
Worship is the primary activity of the faith community when we come together.
What do children need in worship?
For many of us our earliest, and often our strongest, memories are sensory.
We need to give our children the best possible experiences of worship from their earliest years.
The images and experiences our youngest children gain from worship in the faith community are the foundation for their faith development.
Young children need:
To use their senses: seeing ; hearing; tasting; smelling; touching
Freedom: to move around, play; copy; explore
To be themselves
Questions to ask ourselves
What colour, images, pictures do we offer?
What variety of music do we include?
Do we offer some hymns that our youngest children can access?
What objects do we offer to touch and play with?
What tastes and smells do our children associate with worship?
Do we provide opportunity for movement during worship?
Do we have somewhere the children can move to and still be part of the worship?
Do we provide opportunity to play in the worship?
What opportunities do our children have to copy us in worship?
How do we incorporate our youngest children in worship?