Children Worship! Sent into the World

As a people of God gathered together for worship, we respond to God’s love, ask for God’s guidance, and look to God for strength and help as we pray. We hear God’s Word through the Scripture, through readings, and through the sermon. We respond to God’s Word, and we are sent into the world to love and serve God and our neighbors.

Sometimes when we reach the sending part of worship, our minds are mentally saying, “Church is over,” and we become so busy getting ready to leave that we fail to truly experience the final aspect of worship: God sending us into the world.

Read Matthew 28:18-20. Jesus’ words are not just for his disciples in the Bible; they are for us today. The community of believers (the church) strengthens our witness to the world. As individuals, we certainly need to live a life that reflects all that God calls us to be. But when linked with other believers, our gifts extend to touch more than we could imagine. Think about the gifts and talents God gives us — including our time, abilities, human relationships, perspectives, and faith. These gifts are ours to use wisely. We do not simply leave a worship service. We are sent into the world to witness to God’s love and to use these gifts in ways that reflect our belief in God’s care as we serve others.

Some important dates related to our Children Worship! Study:

  • May 13: Mother’s Day. NO Children Worship! class scheduled.*
  • May 20: Children Worship! class resumes.

*Children may complete a Worship Bag “assignment” to turn in to Mrs. Amy for a special “treat”!

Children Worship! : The Language and Posture of Prayer

In our Children Worship! study, we are learning how worship serves as a conversation by provid-ing a time for us to talk with, listen to, and respond to God. Most recently, we have been studying how the different prayers used in worship contribute to and guide us in this ongoing dialogue. The time spent in prayer during worship is, however, actually more than our recitation of a written prayer or our pause to listen to the prayers offered by our pastor or others on behalf of the congregation. In fact, if we were to look closely at our order of worship, we would find that there are often other “times of prayer.” For example, when the people of God praise and thank God through music or responsive reading, these are voiced or sung prayers. Likewise, times of confession as well as opportunities to reflect on and petition God for personal needs or intercede (by spoken prayer or loving action) for the needs of others can also be times of prayer.

For children to grow in their ability to participate in worship, though, they need to recognize the language of prayer and its many postures. Words used in and about prayer, such as praise, thanksgiving, intercession, confession, forgiveness, lament, and amen (which means “so be it”), are important for children to know and understand. Taking the time to help the children we know learn this language of prayer helps children feel more comfortable in using and hearing the words, and, in turn, helps provide them with a sense of belonging.

Remember, too, that when we pray we also have the opportunity to use postures of prayer to show our relationship with God. Often, we bow our heads to show honor and reverence. Sometimes, people lift their head or hands to show their awe and wonder or they kneel to show obedience. Some pray with their eyes closed to focus solely on God while others pray with their eyes open to notice God’s wonderful world and the people who need God’s love and care. How many postures of prayer do you use during the worship service or during your own times of personal and private prayer? Encourage children to pray in ways that show their relationship with God.