Humble Walk just kicked off a new liturgy on Sunday. The songs are short and inviting. They are not fluffy or theologically "lite."Â These songs have the potential to create a space where all of us can sing together.
As many of you know, we have a large portion of kids in our worshipping community. We dig this! We want them here. We want Humble Walk to a place where all ages can worship together. Not kid church. Not adult church. Not preteen or teen or elder church. Just church.
This means that we keep all ages in mind while worship planning. Our current liturgy is designed with our youngest people in mind. Looking for more complicated hymns? Well, stick around because Lent is just around the corner.
Along with careful worship planning, there are things we can all do to help kids engage in worship.Â 1. Invite them to sit by you. 2. Help young readers follow along (give them a pen and have them underline words they recognize). 3. Encourage responses during our community prayers (Lord, in your mercy...hear our prayer). 4.Â Help them to watch and listen for worship cues (we light a candle to begin, listen for the invocation and blessing, etc). 5.Â Point out the things that change (the color of the altar cloth, the chair/altar arrangements). 6. As a parent, talk about your expectations before you get to worship. This isn't school or home or a playdate. It's different than every other part of our week and therefore it comes with it's own set of expectations. What do you expect from them? (This will be different for every household).
It takes years of patient modeling, gentle encouragement, and hands on experience for most of us to understand our role as a worshipper. And some days are harder than others. But it's worth the effort!
As a sidenote: if you have some extra time...read this post on congregational singing. (Nadia is a mission developer/pastor in Denver and friend of our community.) http://blog.sojo.net/2009/12/29/in-defense-of-congregational-singing/