Current psychological research is supporting what the Church has known for millennia: that every baby is born with the capacity for spiritual involvement. All that we have to do then is nurture it.
One of my pet peeves in worship is the belief that we are nurturing that spiritual development by offering a Children’s Message. (You can read more about my views on Children’s Messages here.)
“I wonder where we can see God today…” is an example of such an invitation.
Preschoolers are our most vulnerable church-goers. Yes, they are energetic and impulsive and apt to put themselves in harm’s way unintentionally, but I’m referring to how vulnerable their spiritual growth is during this phase of their lives. Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development
“I wonder how we know that God is with us…”
The following characteristics of children give them great potential for truly experiencing our Sunday services of worship. In what ways can we enhance worship and our sanctuaries to capitalize on these characteristics?
- Children are filled with wonder and awe.
- Beauty evokes reverence and wonder in children.
- Children absorb the environment around them like sponges, thus the environment will be more important than words.
- Children love stories.
Many thanks to Wendy Parker, APRN, member of the Congregational Church in Littleton, for her invaluable inspiration and input for this blogpost.
Debbie Gline Allen serves as a Minister of Faith Formation on the Conference’s Faith Formation Ministry Team. She also serves as the administrator of the SNEUCC Faith Formation Leadership Program. Her passion for ministry is with children and family...