When you look out into your congregation, you may often see children who seem restless, unengaged, or want to play with their toys. All of these behaviors are normal and welcomed, but it’s important to try to make children feel connected and involved with your service.
Plus, it’s a difficult task for parents — getting their children dressed up and taking them to a building full of adults where they have to sit quietly for an extended period. If you can find a way to make families of small children comfortable, you’ll likely see them in regular attendance.
Make Children Feel Welcome at Church
Even if your greeters don’t know everyone’s name, they can still make a point to say hello to children as they enter the building. If you do church announcements at the beginning of your service, that’s another great opportunity to welcome children. Kids may be shy at first, but they’ll eventually feel at home.
Give younger kids a few crayons with an activity packet or a special bulletin that coordinates with the day’s reading. Offering a children’s Bible or a children’s book that relates to the sermon is a great way to get younger children gradually involved in the service.
Ask Children How They’d Like to be Involved
Why take guesses at what children want from church services when you can ask them directly? You could even form a children’s worship committee that includes kids of different ages.
Show children your respect for them by giving them real responsibilities. They might want to:
- Select a hymn
- Do a reading
- Be a greeter
- Bring up a topic that can be discussed in the sermon
- Help collect offertory gifts
Provide a Sermon that Children can Relate To
Invite kids to sit up front for a children’s sermon. Ask them questions, get creative with your presentation, and explain the message.
But even if you’re not giving a children’s church sermon, talk about children in your sermon for adults. Oftentimes, kids have an easier time relating to characters around their own age.
Plan Church Special Events
Having fun events will help children feel even more welcome and excited about church. There are many different family-friendly fellowship events you could plan:
- Picnics or spaghetti dinners
- Ice cream socials or bake sales
- Olympics or sporting events
- Scavenger hunts
- Camping or hiking trips
- Movie nights
Many children really enjoy creativity and artistic projects. Use a relevant children’s drawing as an image for your bulletin. Or, have the children at your church help design and create a banner that’s used for a church season.
Music is another great opportunity for involving children in church services. Give kids hand motions to perform during hymns or bring them up front to lead a song.
Teaching kids to read music for a children’s choir or band can have a lasting effect on them. If children are memorizing and singing lyrics that contain religious principles, they’ll remember them for years to come.
We hope that these tips help you get children in your congregation fully engaged, forming a positive relationship with the church. When children aren’t attending a service, allow your children’s ministry to be another way to engage young parishioners. If you’re looking for ways to furnish a children’s ministry, ChurchPlaza offers a variety of lightweight folding tables and chairs.