Thou Shalt Not Forget the Children


Last week I received an email from Melody VanArragon from First CRC of Detroit asking if I had a kid-friendly version of the Ten Commandments that could be used in worship. Their pastor (also her husband) had been preaching on the Ten Commandments in worship while the kids have been also learning about the 10 Best Ways to Live in Children’s Worship. I was not much help, but I thought it was an interesting idea and when I followed up I found out that they had written their own version. Melody gave me permission to share what they came up with on the Network.

Their pastor, Ben VanArragon, wrote their version. In worship he read each commandment and the congregation repeated it. I thought this was a great way of including children and of putting these words in the mouths of the entire congregation. Here is what Ben wrote:

Ten Commandments for Children

God has given us the gift of “10 best ways.” These rules aren’t a way to earn God’s love because God loves us no matter what. These are rules God gives to help us live the best way we can. If we love God, and love each other, this is the way we will live.

  1. We will worship God alone.
  2. We will not make pretend gods, or let anything take God’s place.
  3. We will use our words to praise and honor God.
  4. We will save one day a week for rest and worship.
  5. We will listen to our moms and dads and obey them.
  6. We will not hate people, or hurt others with our words and actions.
  7. We will respect our bodies and the bodies of other people.
  8. We will not take what doesn’t belong to us.
  9. We will tell the truth.
  10. We will be thankful for God’s good gifts to us.

I really liked their version and it got me thinking about other things we could do with the Commandments. For example, we have a few of our Sunday School classes who are about to study the Ten Commandments. What if we asked the kids to come up with a version of the commandments in their own words. Then perhaps we could have members of that class read them for the congregation as part of worship.

Thanks for the great idea, Melody and Ben!

What about the rest of you? What sort of things have you done to bring Sunday School into the worship service?

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