The Place of Children in Worship

Children can be a handful. Short attention spans, unpracticed patience, a curious nature, and love for exploration. This is all good and well for playing outside, but it’s not ideal for worship services. So what’s the place of children in worship? 

Different churches handle children differently. The approach can depend on the size or the traditions of the church.

Some churches have child care provided during services. Volunteers or professionals will watch infants or children who are too fidgety to last the entirety of a sermon. Parents might drop their children off before heading to the sanctuary knowing their children are in good hands.

Your church might have a children’s sermon towards the beginning of worship. Typically these will comprise of shorter stories from the bible with easier messages to understand. After the children’s sermon, younger children might head to join others in child care while the older or more mature children might stay for the rest of the worship service.

Other churches might take the stance that everyone in the church should be at worship no matter how young. They might provide paper and crayons for younger children or leave it up to the parents direct their attention.

There’s no question that worship is important for teaching good morals and values, but can young children fully appreciate the lessons?

Some parents want their children to attend service at a very young age. You never learn something if you’re never taught it. If they listen to the sermons they might absorb some of the meanings and messages that are being preached, even if they don’t fully understand them.

Other parents might want their children to wait until they are older. Maybe they feel that their kids won’t comprehend the sermon. Or maybe they are worried their children will be distracted and distracting.

Whatever the approach worship is important, as is the place of children in worship.