At The Presbyterian Church of Henderson KY, Â we just celebrated our Kids’ Communion Sunday. At our church, children take communion and celebrate in worship on a regular basis, but one Sunday a year, they prepare the Table liturgy, do the Scripture readings, create new communion tableware, help serve and lead us in worship and celebration. It’s a beautiful day and it reminds me of why it’s important to have children in worship with us. If you welcome children into your worship space, here are ten things that will probably happen.
1. They will get up and wander around. They might wander in the center aisle or they might wander right up to the pastor and try to see what he’s reading. You could try to stop them and make them sit still, but then they’ll just wiggle. I imagine Jesus didn’t sit still for long himself.
2. When they read out loud, they will read slowly and they might read the words wrong. This means that you will have to listen more carefully and consider the
worlds words that are being read.
3. When someone is being baptized, they will want to touch the water too. They might even be so excited that when the person being baptized (often in the arms of his or her family) goes forward for the baptism, they will try to go too just to get as close to the water and the baptism action as possible. You might get excited and wish you could splash in the water and be closer, too.
4. When the pastor asks a rhetorical question during the sermon, they will raise their hands with an answer. If the pastor (hopefully) calls on them to answer, their answers will possibly be right or wrong or completely off subject.
5. They will care about the communion elements. It will take them forever to pick out or tear off their piece of bread because they want it to be the
biggest right piece. They will make sure they get every drop of grape juice out of their communion cup. You’ll look over and they’ll have their heads thrown back and all you’ll see are their tongues sticking up into their communion cups. You might be reminded that the sacrament is actually a celebration.
6. They will start dancing or bouncing in their pews or singing along while the choir sings or the organ/piano/band plays. Good music does that to all of us, at least on the inside.
7. When they are called on to offer prayer requests, you will have to start praying for goldfish, recess and Jesus (kids always want to remember Jesus in prayer–I mean, he seems like an awfully busy guy and the whole Jesus is God connection is tricky for awhile).
8. They will whisper or speak questions loudly. You may even hear them ask a question you’ve wanted to ask. Maybe their parents or grandparents will reply loudly enough that you can hear the answer, too.
9.Â They will want their own bulletins even if they cannot read yet. They will want to hold the hymnal or the Bible even if they cannot read yet. They will want to be included and follow along even if they aren’t sure what it is that is happening. In helping them follow along, you might become more aware of the order of worship and the flow of the service.
10. They will bring life, joy, chaos, wonder, germs, laughter, movement, noise and hope into your church sanctuary.
What would you add? How have your children or neighboring children led you in worship?