Let the Little Children Come

2014 Chr Eve web


Early on in the brief history of our church, many of our families had young children, and during holidays like Christmas and Easter, no one really wanted to miss the worship service in order to lead a separate worship time for kids. The obvious solution was to include children in our worship services. After all, didn’t Jesus say, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 19:14)? But how do you help them stay engaged, particularly in the teaching?

That question continually shapes how I teach. It influences how long I speak and the words I use. I never hold back on saying what needs to be said, but I do say it simply and concisely. The first time I used slides and note sheets was to help kids on an Easter Sunday. But I quickly found out that this approach wasn’t just helpful for kids. Several adults said that these changes were helping them pay attention better too!

This focus on including kids has become such a part of who we are as a church, that I forget how unusual it is. A growing number of people are interested in kid-friendly worship services. When a parent spends long hours at work, neither they nor their child feel good about splitting up at church. It struck me this week that we should find ways to highlight our focus on children.

So though it’s just a few days away, I’ve decided to start speaking of our “Family” Christmas Eve Service. It’s just under an hour. Our Children’s Choir will sing, and we will weave together familiar carols with the story of Christ’s birth from the Gospel of Luke. It all starts at 5:30 p.m. so there’s plenty of time to make it to other activities afterward. I hope you’ll join us!

Nursery care will be available for children 3 and under.

– Bryan Craddock

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