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In many churches some portion of the children’s ministry program happens during the worship service. When summer break comes the Sunday morning service is crowded with kids! If that’s your church, what do you do to help them engage in worship and offer their gifts in service?

With a little coaching and practice many kids are happy to read the Scripture text before the sermon, greet visitors and pass out bulletins, escort new families to the nursery, or assist the ushers in seating people.

Some churches put together weekly children’s bulletins based on the sermon text, songs that will be sung, and other elements of the worship service. I like to keep a stash of children’s Bibles and storybooks like the God Loves Me series by Pat Nederveld and the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones at the back of the sanctuary, for kids to use. We also try to incorporate more of the songs sung during children’s church, into our morning worship service, and the kids often help lead the congregation in learning the motions.

The harder trick is to help kids engage in the quieter, more reflective parts of the service. Encouraging them to raise their hand to offer a prayer request, or open the Bible to read along in the call to worship. That takes the personal attention of a parent, sibling, or caring adult to help them flip through the pages of the Bible to find the verse, or whisper a prayer request idea, or hold the hymnal open at kid’s eye level, and point to the words so they can sing along.

How does your church include the youngest worshipers? Please post your ideas here.

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