Today was the last day that children’s sermons take up space in worship. Beginning next Sunday, worship will move to being more intergenerational. These next two months, we will experiment with music, seating layout, preaching styles, and liturgy. We will explore ways that are inviting to all ages, extroverted and introverted, cerebral and tactile, and those that are familiar and not familiar with church rituals. Having kids in worship will challenge us to be intentional about why we do worship the way we do it – how is it inviting and how is it prohibitive.
Of course, eliminating children’s sermons aren’t the only things going away. Sunday school is usually held during worship. Because it is important that children be in worship, Sunday school in the traditional sense will cease and instead those in grades K-5th grade will be invited to participate in an age-appropriate lesson during the sermon time and then return to worship afterward.
As kids were returning to church today after being away for the summer, it was confirmed that this is the right direction to go. After worship as I shared these changes with some of the parents, it was great to see their excitement and affirmation that they appreciate the thoughtful changes. Of course all this was said as our boys were entangled in each other and wrestling on the ground. “What are you doing?” yelled one of the parents. “Having a wedgie war!” my son informed.
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Exploring Worship in New Ways
Check out the Sunday bulletin for Idlewild Presbyterian in Memphis, TN. The explanation of each part of the service is well done. (But they still have a time with the children, something I always find distracting.)
Do you have suggestions for online or print resources that would help our congregation move in this direction?? Thanks
I wish I did. Actually that has been my problem – not finding resources that address this problem. If it helps you can peruse through my blogs under “intergenerational worship”. it may give you an idea of ways we moved in this direction.