As my oldest daughter is transitioning out of the younger elementary age into a more mature young lady, I’ve been looking for something to help her focus during Sunday morning worship. While I’m not very active on Pinterest, many of my friends are and every so often something they posted comes through their Facebook feed that catches my eye. That’s why when I saw “Worship Notes for Kids” I became so excited. This is exactly what I’d been looking for to help my daughter. “But why stop there?” I thought. “I should share this with all of the kids in our congregation.”
So I began making copies of the sheet and passing them out on Sunday morning to all of the children that wanted to participate. It makes my heart swell to see the younger members of our congregation with their heads bent over their papers during services marking the songs we sing, the verses we read, and the words spoken during the sermon. At the end of worship the kids all know to find me for their treat. I look over their pages to make sure they filled them out correctly, then hold the sheets in my hand and let my youngest choose two of them. Those two get to pick a prize from my church bag where I have candy, small toys, and books from the Dollar Tree. As any mother knows, training your children to exhibit a certain behavior takes a lot of repetition and encouragement, so I’m hoping my system will encourage these young children to develop the habit of being participants in worship instead of outsiders.
Your challenge is to encourage the young people in your congregation to be involved in worship. You can use my idea above or come up with something else (your words, a note, etc.), but the main point is to notice those who are young as they learn how to worship. Encourage your children or grandchildren, encourage the children who sit on your pew or on your side of the building, encourage the entire youth in your congregation.
The best part of rewarding the young children in our congregation is that I always tell them when they turn in their sheet that I am so proud of them for how well they worshipped God that morning, but God is even more pleased. They just beam!
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