By Wendy Berghane
Bringing the children in your ministry together each week for their own worship experience is such a fantastic way to help the youngest hearts begin to connect to the awesomeness of worshipping our great God. How do you create an environment that gets them excited to worship? Below are three practical ways to help your Children’s Church time soar.
1. It’s all about love.
Take the time each week to build relationships with the students and families in your ministry. Get to know them, ask about what’s going on in their world, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and find ways to incorporate their strengths and gifts into part of the children’s church service. Make them feel known, and remind them how loved they are not by just you, but by their great big God.
When kids feel safe and they trust their environment and the people in it, they are much more likely to participate and grow.
2. Remember who is listening.
Nothing will sink a Children’s Church program more quickly than words, lessons, and experiences that are over a student’s head or not relevant to their world. It is so important that you create an experience that speaks to a child. God is very much alive and engaged in the world of a child. Give children an opportunity to worship that God by using language, examples, and liturgy or prayers that they connect with and that they can use when they are away from the church building and out in the world!
3. Keep first things first.
Everything you do should be centered around Jesus and the Gospel. It seems like a pretty obvious tip, but so often ministries can get caught up in anything and everything—from the numbers, to the entertainment value or latest trends, to the “traditions” of worship or liturgy, and those things end up taking center stage. Jesus will draw himself near to their hearts. Not through how many kids show up or the latest audio/visual components or focusing on specific traditions. He’ll draw himself near simply be being introduced and worshipped. It’s our number one job to make him known to the children in our ministry and let God do the rest of the work.
Children’s Church is such a fun and unique experience for kids and children’s ministry staff and volunteers alike. There is nothing like seeing the heart of a child worshipping our beautiful Lord. Mark 10:13-16 reminds us how important children were and are to Jesus:
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’ And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”
That’s a pretty powerful statement. Jesus points us to the hearts of children and the faith they possess and says:
“You ALL should be approaching God’s throne in this way—with childlike faith and wonder.”
I encourage you to remember that as you prepare your Sunday Children’s Church experience. Love the children he brings to you each Sunday, make your time together relevant and kid-friendly, and keep your focus on Jesus. He will do the rest of the work!
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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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