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Exploring HEARTS ALIVE - BLOG 4 – Inside a Children's Church Lesson

July 12, 2022

Hearts Alive Children's Church

Exploring HEARTS ALIVE - BLOG 4 – Inside a Children's Church Lesson

By Christine O'Brien

In our first two blogs, we explored the opening and closing pages of every Hearts Alive lesson. In the third blog, we took an in depth look at a typical Sunday School lesson. Today, in our final blog of this series, we will unpack a Hearts Alive Children’s Church lesson.

Hearts Alive Training - Part 4 from Bible Study Media on Vimeo.

Children’s Church introduces children to the elements of an adult worship service and prepares them to one day fully participate. You’ll be helping children truly worship the Lord during Children’s Church—worship in a way that makes sense to them and delights the heart of God. So, let’s take a closer look.

Our Children’s Church is designed for children from Pre-K through Upper Elementary age. They all gather together for worship and the lesson. Then, for the second half of Children’s Church, they divide up by age groups for follow up activities.

Every Children’s Church also includes musical praise. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.

As we talked about in the first blog, the opening pages of every Hearts Alive lesson, including Children’s Church, are the same. They give you an overview of the lesson and an outline of your time together as well as a Bible background to help you prepare. Next, we come to the actual content or core of the lesson. In Children’s Church, this core is called the Lesson and Liturgy. Liturgy simply means the work of the people, or the labor of love, we put into worshiping God.

You’ll open Children’s Church by preparing to Worship. As your class arrives, you’ll select children for roles in the service that day, including readers, an acolyte to help light candles (if you want to incorporate this), and a child to take up the offering. Once they’re selected, you’ll start your service. With children seated, you’ll begin with an opening acclamation. You’ll say, “I was glad when they said unto me…” and the children will respond, “We will go to the house of the Lord!” And as always, the more enthusiasm, the better!

Now every week begins with that same acclamation, so your class will be ready and eager to show you they remember their part. After the acclamation, you’ll help the acolyte light the candles and officially welcome everyone to the service. Then, you’ll stand and sing praise songs together. We give you songs or you can choose your own. Next, the readers you chose will come up and read the Bible passage for the day.

Next comes, not a sermon, but the lesson—where you’ll bring the Bible passage to life in a way that engages young hearts and minds. We’ve written it out for you to read or retell in your own words.

If you’re new to teaching, our exact instructions will give you confidence. If you’re a seasoned teacher, go ahead and enhance it all you like!

Discussion follows the lesson. Here you’ll ask follow up questions to help children unpack the lesson. Then your class will continue to worship together by saying the Apostles' Creed aloud—or another creed chosen by your church—praying a prayer of confession, taking up the offering, and putting out the candles. That concludes the Worship component. You’ll close it as the service began, with an acclamation. You’ll say, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and the children say: “Thanks be to God. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

But things aren’t over yet. Once the Worship service is concluded, you’ll divide the children into age groups to help them discover what the day’s lesson means for their everyday life. This may be in the form of an art project, a relay, a skit, a craft, or a game.

If your church has the space, each group can head to their own room with a leader, but that is not necessary. Groups can simply move to different parts of the same room for their activities. In some instances, an activity will be best done outside or in a larger space. It’s a good idea to read the lesson beforehand to determine the space you’ll need each week. And that brings us to the end of every Children’s Church lesson—the Wrap Up.

At the Wrap Up you’ll gather all the children back together for a send-off prayer and to hand out take home pages prior to their parents arrival. So, there you have it, a full Hearts Alive Children’s Church lesson—Worship, a lesson and discussion of God’s Word, a follow up activity and Wrap Up.

To unwrap the whole Hearts Alive Children’s Curriculum, make sure to check out all four blogs in this series. We’ll equip you with all you need to know to be ready and eager to help the young hearts you teach come alive to Jesus. And please reach out with any questions you have! It would be my joy to help you.


Related Resource:

Hearts Alive

Hearts Alive Sunday School and Children's Church provide liturgical congregations a highly-anticipated children’s curriculum that combines captivating content, lectionary alignment, and Gospel focus for children ages 3-12. For those seeking to engage children in a fun, age-appropriate application to the Revised Common Lectionary, Hearts Alive is a three-year course of study to give children a strong overview of the story of salvation and how it ties to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Hearts Alive supports and elevates liturgical traditions and the church calendar while using clear, contemporary learning techniques to present the Word of God. Learn more in our online community.

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