The developmental need of young people to discover where and with whom they belong….they are looking for warmth not as an add-on but in their church’s very DNA. Growing Young - by Brad Griffin, Jake Mulder, and Kara Powell
We all need to know that we are in a beloved relationship with God. We can create sacred places and engage in worship, prayer, and conversations with God that include all people at ‘all places at all times’. Olivia B. Updegrove (InterGenerate)
Every church can be intentionally intergenerational in its ministry and faith formation experiences.
Cultivating caring relationships across generations in the congregation and community can become a life-giving spiritual community of faith, hope and love.
Parents continue to be the single greatest influence on their children’s faith. Interestingly, grandparents come in closely at second.
How can we support the families in our communities pass on the faith to their children?
Consider some of the following ideas for your congregation:
Names are special
- Learn the names of the children and call them by name. Introduce them to other children and families by name.
- Wear name tags so the children and families can know your name.
- Provide a crèche where parents can still hear the worship but withdraw with their children if needed.
- Invite children and families to be involved in leading worship as they are able – reading, ushering, greeting or praying.
Include a children’s address
- See our LCA Worship Planning Page for lectionary based children’s addresses. CLICK HERE
- There is also an Equipping Sheet on leading a children’s address. CLICK HERE
- Provide activity bags filled with books, colouring and activity pages and pencils.
- Provide WORSHIP NOTES for the children to complete during worship.
- Include a song during worship that the children will know. Perhaps one that has actions.
- Kids love food. Consider all ages when you plan morning tea.
- Provide a place for children’s artwork to be displayed. Ensure this space is updated regularly.
- Use children’s artwork to scan for the bulletin cover, to decorate for special times of the church year like Easter, Christmas or Pentecost.
- Consider the age and program for First Communion.
- Give Bibles to young children and families to read together
- Put step stools in the toilets.
- Have nappy change stations in both men and women’s toilets.
- Put a kids table and chairs with activities in the fellowship area.
These are just some of the ways children and families can be made to feel welcome. When people feel there needs are being met, they begin to feel that they belong.
What other ways can you create a feeling of belonging in your congregation?
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign LORD; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:16-18