At Immanuel Church, we love having children in our Sunday Worship Gathering. Each week, we take time to say a special ‘hello’ from the front to the young ones in the service. While this is a good start, welcoming children in worship happens best when we all play our part.
Megan Hill, pastor’s wife and mother of three, gives some very practical and helpful advice about how we can all love and welcome children.
Welcoming children to worship begins at the door to the church building. Here, after being apart for sometimes a whole week, the people of God rejoice to see one another again face to face. And because we are commanded to greet “all the brothers” (1 Thess. 5:26), we include children.
I have two sons who look similar. They’re close in age, almost the same height, and usually sport matching haircuts. It’s sometimes difficult for people to tell them apart. My boys are patient with church members who call them by the wrong name, but those who make the effort to know their names—to know them as distinct individuals—are the reason they run to the church door on Sunday mornings with smiles on their faces.
Equally important are people who make sure my children know their names. Children are usually at a disadvantage when it comes to introductions; it’s not always clear what polite form of address is available to them in a particular context. So they’re put at ease by someone willing to make it clear from the beginning: “Hi! I’m Mrs. Hill. What’s your name?”
When believers know and are known by the children who worship alongside them every week, they communicate that children are valuable—yes, even essential (1 Cor. 12:22)—to our corporate life. With a handshake and smile, they tell my kids they are welcome.
Hill, M (2016, April 1). 4 Ways to Welcome Children in Worship [Web log post]. Source: The Gospel Coalition.