In January, I began taking the children into the chapel for Children’s Church each week. To say I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the response from the kids is an understatement. Each week we gather up front, sit on the floor in a circle, share a story, discuss the sermon, and work on the Children’s Bulletins I’ve prepared for the week. The kids LOVE it. Here are just a couple of quotes to share from the children:
“I can hear the choir singing! Oh my goodness! I LOVE to hear them!”
“The pastor is talking about the same story we just read!! Listen, you guys!”
“I love this room. It just makes me feel better. I don’t know why.”
The most recent, and by far the best, experience happened in April when three of the children in attendance stopped what they were doing, stood up, and sang the Doxology with the congregation – all without any adult prompting.
Our kids WANT to worship!
These experiences have led the Education Ministry and me to pursue reframing what Children’s Church will mean to our children at Calvary.
For years, our experience of Children’s Church has been crafts, games, activities, and videos, in a separate area away from the sanctuary. While nothing is wrong with this, we are going to shift our definition and expectations of Children’s Church.
Calvary is a historic, traditional church that is filled with modern families with busy lives. Most of our members and visitors are looking for that traditional worship experience, not praise bands and video lessons. Let’s give the children an opportunity to learn authentic traditional worship. This is NOT something other churches seem to be offering. Let’s shift our focus of Children’s Church to be, not a babysitting service filled with crafts and games, or “Sunday School, Part 2.” Let’s instead reframe Children’s Church to be a place where children can come during worship to share a story with the leader, break down the sermon on their level, and talk about the things we hear, see, and do in our worship at Calvary in a comfortable place. If they need to squirm, they can. But they can also experience the feeling of reverence and awe that we feel in a sacred worship space. We’ll provide coloring pages and written activities that tie into the sermon, as well as small manipulative playthings.
Calvary is proud to offer another way for your child to grow in faith and to become a part of our worshipping community.
If you have any questions about our Children’s Church program or any of our Christian Education offerings, please let me know.