Blog

Twice a month I have the honor of leading worship for over twenty adults living with a developmental disability and often physical disabilities. I tell God’s stories using Children and Worship materials.

June 8, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Family devotions can be a challenge! The book Teach Us to Pray by Lora Copley and Elizabeth Vander Haagen offers a solution by using short, child-friendly readings that follow the liturgical year.

May 16, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

As a curriculum consultant for Faith Alive Christian Resources, I’ve spent hundreds of hours talking to CRC children’s ministry leaders. Here are some things I've heard, as well as ways I can help! 

April 26, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

I usually enjoy an opportunity to be with the kids but on this day I was near the end of my rope and they were too. Though I wish they'd been easier on me, I'm grateful for the reminder that these kids have complex lives, too.

April 4, 2017 1 0 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

The new short board book, found (yes, all lowercase letters) by Sally Lloyd-Jones, is a great way to introduce kids to Psalm 23. I can see this book as a great bedtime book for a toddler. 

February 27, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

Before our church remodeled, the kids felt comfortable in our building and knew the places where they could hang out and socialize. After the remodel, we realized the need to create kid friendly spaces.

February 9, 2017 2 1 comments
Q&A

I have a church in my area that is considering an electronic sign-in for nursery and children's ministry programs. Does anyone have suggestions or resources that may be helpful?

January 6, 2017 2 4 comments
Blog

This mind-set of seeing every child as specially designed by God is what challenges us, but also motivates us, as leaders. Our role is to find a way to communicate God’s love to each child. 

September 6, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

Have you ever noticed the empty spaces in Bible stories? There are burning bushes, talking donkeys, and floating zoos, too. Try telling these Bible stories to kids and watch how they launch right into them. 

July 25, 2016 0 1 comments
Resource, Curriculum

There are many ways to talk with kids about faith. One unique resource is God’s Big Story Cards—a boxed set of cards that encourage families to wonder, pray, praise, share, and respond to God’s Word. 

May 24, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

By searching Pinterest, Ariana finds up-to-date crafts or activities that fit her Story Hour class. Read about some of the creative ways she's incorporated crafts and activities into the telling of Bible stories. 

May 12, 2016 0 0 comments
Resource, Story or Testimony

As a parent of a young child, there have been times when I can’t help but wonder, "Is it really sinking in?" However, a recent event erased my doubts about his grasp of Christ's love for him. 

April 12, 2016 1 2 comments
Discussion Topic

Looking for books to help grow the faith of children? We've compiled a list of our go-to books that are definitely worth checking out. Do you know a book we should check out? Let us know!

April 1, 2016 0 3 comments
Blog

Have you ever had trouble finding leaders for your Story Hour/Little Lambs Ministry?  Perhaps you could consider your pastor! 

February 9, 2016 1 0 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

In this webinar, you'll hear about the Children & Worship program, spiritual formation in the young, how to get started, available resources, and stories of how C&W has impacted children, their families and their congregations. 

October 29, 2015 0 2 comments
Blog

And so as she preached God’s words from Deuteronomy 6 instructing parents, families, and the faith community to pass on the words and stories of God, the children were also present.

August 10, 2015 1 0 comments
Discussion Topic

I've been involved in children's worship for many years and I have a struggle every season: What songs do we teach these children? Do we teach them what is current? What is catchy?

August 7, 2015 1 4 comments
Blog

“This is a place where we come to worship God, and we have all the time we need …”, she said in a quiet, calm voice. This was a special place, a special time.

May 20, 2015 2 0 comments
Blog

Discover how to bless—and how not to bless!—children during the celebration of the Lord's Supper.

May 13, 2015 3 0 comments
Blog

Use music and song lyrics every day to praise the Lord.

July 3, 2014 2 3 comments
Discussion Topic

This is a great time to think about training new leaders for Children & Worship. A trained leader is much more effective in nurturing the faith of little ones. Think outside the box for leaders. I've been leading children for over 20 years and I started in my early forties. Think of...

March 1, 2011 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

This past Sunday I switched with another leader in our Four's Worship Center. I realized by doing so, I would have to do the baptism story which I had never done before. In my church, La Grave CRC, we use Jerome Berryman's baptism story instead of Sonja Stewart's. As I started to prepare, I...

January 20, 2011 0 0 comments
Blog

This Sunday the song involved twirling, stomping, jumping, clapping, leaning, and praying—all motions that the kids chose for the song...  

November 2, 2010 0 5 comments
Discussion Topic

Young Children & Worship Basic Training
If you are starting a new Children and Worship center or desire to train additional leaders, this is the workshop for you!

For:  Pastors, directors of Christian education, Children & Worship leaders, anyone who works with children
...

August 9, 2010 0 2 comments
Blog

In many churches some portion of the children’s ministry program happens during the worship service. If that’s your church, what do you do to help them engage in worship and offer their gifts in service?

June 15, 2010 0 0 comments

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What a wonderful (and fun!) example of being an inclusive family of God. Thanks for sharing, Laura.

My church also uses electronic check in - you may contact Shalom Jaconette at River Terrace Church in E. Lansing, MI if you would like to find out more about how it works there.

Marian,

Our kids have participated in some summer programs at Harvest. They have an amazing check-in system with tablet kiosks attached to nametag printers. If you gave the church office a call, I'm sure they would tell you what they use. It's very efficient.

And I just noticed that Planning Centre Online has also added this functionality.

James

Hi Marian: 
This is a great question! My church has not switched over but I found this article on church check in software that seems helpful. 

Would love to hear what you end up using!
Staci 

Hey Marian :)

I think LaGrave CRC in Grand Rapids has something like that, unless I'm not remembering correctly from my visit. 

Hi Julie, this is a wonderful offer. I'll let the Children and Worship trainers know so that they can refer a church to you if needed. You may also want to post this on The Network's Exchange - just start a new post here on the Network, put the details of your offer in the post, and when it asks you what category to place it in, choose Church Exchange. 

Our church has Children and Worship story figures that we would love to find a new home for them as we have changed our curriculum and no longer use them.  Anyone starting the Children and Worship curriculum and need story figures?  Please contact Julie at juliedekruyter@gmail.com.

I LOVE this. What a great reminder to reclaim our childlike faith.  

 That is a very sweet story.

What a beautiful story.

Those are great suggestions, Diane. Thanks for adding another direction to the list. My favorite faith nurturing books to read with young children are the God Loves Me books. (Look for an upcoming post about the ways those books are impacting three children--and their families!) For parents/caregivers looking ways to connect children's literature with faith stories I highly recommend the Storypath site which lists more than 100 book titles for infants through teens along with ideas for how to use the stories as part of a faith nurturing conversation. 

I love that you mention Chronicles of Narnia. I grew up with my Dad reading me those books and the story style in which they are written (full of adventure, conflict, etc.) was incredibly helpful in my faith development. 

How about books to read with children that form their faith? Like the Chronicles of Narnia? Or the Psalms - the excellent collection by Bob & Laura Keeley,  Psalms for Families. I know a lot of people like The Jesus Storybook for young kids, but I always liked My First Message by Eugene Peterson.

Jesus Love Me is timeless and ageless.

It amazes me how God will provide a song in my day to day walk.  When my heart is sad - He is there, when I'm full of joy - He is there and when it is just another day - He is there.  Many of these songs come to me when I'm alone.  Some from my most recent worship experience and many come flowing back from my childhood.  Some of my favorites are rich with comfort and reassurance of God's love, repeating the same phrase over and over to create a form of meditation to our Lord and Saviour.  

We really can not go wrong with any Christ-centered songs that reinforce the Word of God.  Having a connection to the school year theme or bible verse for the day is always nice.  I think it is fun to mix it up.  It's great to have the fun jumping around the room praising God songs and a time for quiet peaceful meditation.

  • Jesus loves me
  • My God is so great, so strong and so mighty
  • He is Lord
  • Sing Alleluia to the Lord
  • Doxology
  • The books of the Bible songs
  • Be still and know
  • My Friends, May You Grow in Grace
  • The B I B L E
  • Clap your hands all you people

I could go on and on with favorite songs.  But what I'm really thankful for are the Sunday school teachers and choir directors in my life that taught me and gave me a life long blessing of singing God praises.

My daughter's favorite was from the Music Machine - "Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry!".  So I'm definitely not against new choruses. I also love the 'goldie oldies', Psalms refrains, and global choruses with simple percussion!

When I used to plan for an upcoming season of ministry with Story Hour kids (preschoolers), we would have a core set of a few songs we wanted to use all year, and then we would accent that short list with songs that told the biblical story - so we would start with a few creation songs in September, then teach a few O.T. songs of God's care, and by advent we could sing about Jesus coming to earth. January let us sing songs about Jesus' life and ministry, and then (you got it!) - as Lent began we could sing about Jesus' death and resurrection. It always worked for us because Story Hour includes the whole biblical narrative each year. But you could do this with any theme you were working with. The fun thing is that the favorites can be brought back any time.

You've got this Brenda! Maybe in a few months you could post your kids' favorites!
 

I was a kid with pretty high levels of anxiety, and a song that I first learned from a Psalty video (remember those?!) that was helpful to me was "I will cast all my cares upon you." 

Great ideas, Christy!  When I was young, our family used to sing songs from the hymn book for a half hour or so after the supper meal on Sunday night.  Everyone got to pick one or two favorites, and we started to learn harmony in acapella.  Now with our own family we usually follow the practice of singing a couple songs or more after every supper meal, some acapella, and some with piano accompaniment.  Guests get to pick a favorite and they usually enjoy it as well.  We do this after reading a piece of scripture.  The songs include hymns, praise songs, spirituals, or whatever we like that honors God.  

Diane, that sounds awesome. I think we might have a copy of that book somewhere at church; I'll have to take a look at it.

Great ideas, Christy. Have you seen Psalms for All Seasons? All of the Psalms are printed there along with songs, hymns or choruses that go with each Psalm. We love to use it in our home with family worship, in the home of someone who is too ill to go to church, or devotionally with my grandchildren. (They love to take turns being the 'leader' and reading the regularly printed text while the rest of us read the bold print.) There is also a simple prayer at the end of each Psalm that can be read by young or old. It's a great way to read the Psalms together.

I think it is always encouraging to see our young ones worshiping.  In our church and most all churches Sunday school is valued as a critical place to teach the love of Jesus in a smaller, age appropriate environment.  I'm sure your congregation was thrilled to watch the children.  Our church has not done this in a very long time and your post helped light a fire for me to talk with our Children's Director about seeing this through.  I think the children leading the elders helps us all to loosen up and rejoice for Jesus together...no matter what age.

I like you John, Your humor and humility is contagious. God bless you

We are just getting into this, we call it "Intergenerational Worship", (too bad we can't mix that one up like wii, a bit of humour is always helpful!). I am the organist , Praise Team and Organist have been playing together in the services since we installed our "new" pipe organ in 2003, it works. Now we have youth led services once in the three months, how it will work out is unknown at this time, but our youth leader kicked my proverbial conservative behind by challenging me to play the electronic keyboard with them (heresy!?). We had one of our hymn fests, but this time in the morning service, the Genesis Club participated with the processional hymn, two 15 year old girls volunteered to sing a solo during the offertory (they picked a hymn!, I was thrilled), I played the keyboard for the first time while they sang, (I didn't know that I could play the violin, cello, flute and pan flute!, before the girls sang I announced to the congregation that in the last two weeks I had learned to play these instruments, a few came up after the service and asked where I was standing when I played these instruments, GOTCHA!) another young lady sang a solo with one of our youth leaders, a whole new world opened up for myself and I hope for the congregation as well. Our goal is to have us all appreciate the different ways in how we feel connected to God no matter how that is expressed, a two way street and tall order, but with Gods help it will be so.

Sounds like a great idea!! What are some of the other forms of worship you hope to have the kids explore? I love the weWorship/WiiWorship mix up--made me laugh out loud!!!

We just began a new program (so we'll wait to determine its success!) called weWorship.  (One child thought I said WiiWorship and was a bit dissappointed).  During our family nights twice a month the 1st-6th graders gather to think about the many different ways we can worship God.  Each month a different leader guides them in a different theme.  For example, last month they thought about how God is worshipped through dance. They read a Bible story about David dancing, they drew pictures, and they came up with a dance to a worship song.  They also talked about the difference between performing a dance and using it to help people worship.  Then, the last Sunday of the month the children have an opportunity to lead us in worship using what they've learned.  For us it is a way to integrate children into leading worship.

Hi, Megan. I just checked on the RCA website where we have all training listed for Children & Worship and I don't see anything scheduled at this time. Here is the link that will connect you to what training is available: https://www.rca.org/sslpage.aspx?=&pid=2186&srcid=1396  The CRC works very closely with the RCA on C&W and so they maintain the site and we have links back and forth as all orders for materials come through Faith Alive. You can also contact our trainer in California, Carol Jones, at res16y23@verizon.net or 562-923-1717. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have.

 Hello! Does anyone know if there will be a training sometime soon anywhere on the west coast? We're a church in Las Vegas, and I'd love to take my volunteers to a training :o)

thank you Liz for the great idea! Our network has recently been searching out different and meaningful ways to celebrate Easter with our children. This idea is both easy and valuable for the children and the congregation!

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