by Sam Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Why don’t you give out a colouring page to keep the children busy?” This is the first question that comes to mind when we think about how to keep our children involved in worship. “At least, it keeps them busy right?” Although we have been tempted to fill the morning worship gathering with colouring pages, we have intentionally stayed away from it because we believe that children and youth are important in worship. Worship is not something that is just for adults but rather is for the whole community of God. Young or old, single or married, every generation is welcomed and is needed if we are to declare that our God is a God of community and love.
So why are we introducing a colouring page? Well it’s not just a colouring page. We (Dale more than Sam) have spent time creating a worship listening page as a way to encourage the children to be more engaged with what is happening in worship. We hope that the children may use the new worship listening page as a way to be more engaged in worship than to just keep them busy. This is within our desire to help our young people to see the morning worship gathering as a time for them and not something that they have to endure until they head downstairs.
We believe that the presence of children (including infants) are important in our worship. We believe that even if our children are not always engaged, God has “prepared praise from the mouths of children and nursing infants” (Matthew 21:16). Their presence in our worship gathering is a small step in discipling our children. We know that it takes more than a worship listening page to disciple our children, but as we continue to raise our children, these small steps can become habits that will help them meet Jesus. We encourage you as parents and adults to see the time of worship with our children as not only a way to disciple our children but as a way for us to be the community of God.