Trinity Presbyterian Church Children’s Ministry
Even as adults, we often have a difficult time sitting still, paying attention and listening in worship. However, as adults, we have the advantage of knowing the framework, so that, even if we cannot articulate all of the parts of a worship service, we have general expectation that guides us through. We did not just come by this framework naturally. It is something we learned as we grew. As we think about children, specifically very young children transitioning from nursery into the worship service, we have to remind ourselves that the goal is not simply to teach them to sit still and behave during worship, but rather to help them learn and engage in the service of worship.
At Trinity, we desire that our children would be excited about worship and would long to come with us as we enter the throne room of our King. That is the purpose and design of Worship Training. It is a six-part lesson series that runs continuously on Sunday mornings during the “Listening to God’s Word” portion of the liturgy – in other words, the sermon! We invite children ages 4-7 to explore with us the 5 portions of our worship service based on Isaiah 6:
Entering God’s Presence
Committing to God’s Kingdom
Listening to God’s Word
Feasting at God’s Table
Going out with God’s Blessing
These headings are seen in our Order of Worship each week and, everything that takes place during corporate worship fits under one of these headings. Though this may sound like lofty language, the curriculum is interactive and geared for a child’s understanding. It is intended to engage their imaginations and help create a longing to “worship big!” Of course they will still be children, not always sitting still and being silent. That is ok (neither do we as adults)! But a little understanding can be helpful. Our hope is that, once children learn what is going on when they come to worship - that they are called to actually participate, not simply be present and be quiet - they will be the ones looking at us and saying, “I’m so glad God invited us! Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
1. Sitting still is not a problem for my child, should I still send them to worship training?
Remember sitting still is not the goal. Engaging & participating in worship is. If you would like to utilize Worship Training as a tool for growing, please feel free to do so whether they know how to sit still or not. The choice is yours. Children are always welcome in the worship service.
2. Is my child required to attend?
Attendance is 100% up to parents’ discretion. This is just a tool we offer to assist children as they grow if you wish to utilize it.
3. Do you have any other tools for helping children learn to worship?
Yes! Worship is the engine that drives everything we do as Christians so we are always thinking about ways to help people grow in what it means. Look for the “Tools for Young Worshippers” table where you will find:
1 – Clipboards with blank paper & crayons so children who don’t yet read can draw things they see & hear in worship. Take the paper home and discuss their drawing with them.
2 – “Young Worshippers Bulletins” designed to encourage children to open their Bibles, read the Scripture along with the congregation and then fill in missing words. There are also key words listed to listen for in the sermon. And there is a place for children’s questions. These questions could be anything from a word they didn’t understand to why there are colored cloths draped on the cross. No question is too simple. Children are encouraged to put their questions in the “Children’s Questions” basket or give them to their CE teacher and look for answers in The Bumbershoot (the children’s newsletter) emailed on Monday afternoons. (To recieve that newsletter, click here and request to be added to the mailing list).
3 – The “Order of Worship,” is posted on our website by Friday afternoons. Families can use it to prepare for worship at home by practicing the songs or creeds, discussing the Kingdom readings, or reading the Scripture to be preached.
4 - The Bumbershoot also includes a "song of the month" with links to both the sheet music and a demo when possible. Utilizing these links are a great way to practice and learn common songs of worship at home as a family.
4. Can I attend with my child?
Absolutely! Anytime. Parents are always welcome. In fact, any adult is welcome to pop in from time to time. We all need this!
5. Should my child be ready to attend corporate worship once they have heard all 6 lessons?
Maybe, but not necessarily. Every child is different. Some may want to attend from age 4 until age 7. Some may attend one cycle and feel prepared. Parents should utilize the tools available as those tools fit their family.
What are your questions?
Please feel free to email your questions to Neecia Eggar at firstname.lastname@example.org
“but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”