Tuesday, May 12, 2009

John Westerhoff, a leading Christian educator, believes that children are necessary in worship.  Westerhoff believes that faith is "caught" not "taught" and what better way for children to know what faith is all about than to be a full part of a community.

When a family is dedicated in our midst, the adults of the congregation promise to support actively the parents' nurturing their child's faith.  We need to work together to nurture our children in their faith and to be nurtured by them in return.  Children give us the gift of trust and a fresh point of view; adults can share the gift of acceptance, experience and the wisdom of the church through the ages.

May we suggest:
  • Relax!  God put the wiggle in children - don't feel you have to suppress it in God's house.
  • Use a gentle touch:  an arm around your child's shoulder, holding hands to give reassurance and appropriate attention.
  • Explain quietly the parts of the service.
  • Help your child find the pages in the hymnal.  
  • Sing the hymns, pray and voice the responses.  Children learn good behavior in church by copying yours.
Always remember that the way we welcome children in church directly affects the way they respond to church, God and Christ.  Let them know that they are at home in this liturgy of praise and thanksgiving.


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