Every week in our morning worship service, the children in 3rd and 4th grade bring in the Bible and light a candle in the front of church. At the end of the service the kids come and relight the candle that they carry out of church and extinguish the fire in church and bring the Bible out of church symbolizing that the congregation is leaving the worship with God’s word. During Lent, a third child is added to the procession who carries in a cross. We encourage the child to hold the cross up high as the congregation sings “Lift High the Cross”.
The cross we are using is about 12 inches tall. It is painted white but it is a distressed white – so that it looks worn. We use this cross because it stands out against the furniture by the pulpit and it is a good size for the kids to carry in. Today a 4th grade boy carried in the cross. He came back afterward and asked me if that was my cross. I replied that I had purchased the cross but that it belonged to the church. He told me that the cross needed to be painted and that he could bring it home and spray paint it and have it back in time for the next service. I had to tell him that the cross looking a little worn was intentional. He couldn’t figure out why we would want it that way.
This was a fun interaction with this boy (whose Sunday School teachers mentioned was a pistol in Sunday School today) because I appreciated that he saw something in his church that needed attention and that he was willing to repaint it. If the church and the cross that he carries in didn’t belong to him he would not have offered to “fix” it. I don’t really want him to paint the cross – the distressed look, is, indeed, intentional – but I was really pleased that he takes enough ownership of the church and the stuff in the church to want to take care of it himself.
Have you seen examples of kids owning your church? Can you share any stories about this?