UPDATE: IN LIGHT OF COVID-19, WORSHIP TRAINING WILL NOT BE OFFERED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. PLEASE READ BELOW ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL PROGRAM FOR OUR CHILDREN. CHILDREN'S BULLETINS ARE STILL PROVIDED AT THE "TOOLS FOR YOUNG WORSHIPHERS" TABLE OUTSIDE THE SANCTUARY. FEEL FREE TO USE PROVIDED CRAYONS AND TAKE THEM HOME. OR YOU CAN BRING YOUR OWN WRITING TOOLS.
Worship Training is a class for children ages 4 to 7 offered on Sunday mornings during the sermon (except on Easter Sunday). It is intended to help children grow in their understanding of what worship is and how they can participate in it.
Even as adults, we often have a difficult time sitting still, paying attention, and listening in worship. However, as adults, we have the advantage of knowing the framework, so that, even if we cannot articulate all of the parts of a worship service, we have general expectation that guides us through. We did not just come by this framework naturally. It is something we learned as we grew. As we think about children, specifically very young children transitioning from nursery into the worship service, we have to remind ourselves that the goal is not simply to teach them to sit still and behave during worship, but rather to help them learn and engage in the service of worship.
At Trinity, we desire that our children would be excited about worship and would long to come with us as we enter the throne room of our King. That is the purpose and design of Worship Training. It is a six-part lesson series available on Sunday mornings during the “Listening to God’s Word” portion of the liturgy (in other words, the sermon). Children ages 4 to 7 are invited to learn about worship by looking at the 5 portions of our worship service based on Isaiah 6:
These headings are seen in our Order of Worship each week and, everything that takes place during corporate worship fits under one of these headings. Though this may sound like lofty language, the curriculum is interactive and geared for a child’s understanding. It is intended to engage their imaginations and help create a longing to “worship big!” Of course they will still be children, not always sitting still and being silent. That is ok (neither do we as adults)! But a little understanding can be helpful. Our hope is that, once children learn what is going on when they come to worship - that they are called to actually participate, not simply be present and be quiet - they will be the ones looking at us and saying, “I’m so glad God invited us! Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
1. Sitting still is not a problem for my child, should I still send them to worship training?
Remember sitting still is not the goal. Engaging & participating in worship is. If you would like to utilize Worship Training as a tool to help your child grow, please feel free to do so whether they know how to sit still or not. The choice is yours. Children are always welcome in the worship service.
2. Is my child required to attend?
Attendance is 100% up to parents’ discretion. This is just a tool we offer to assist children as they grow if you wish to utilize it.
3. Do you have any other tools for helping children learn to worship?
Yes! Worship is the engine that drives everything we do as Christians so we are always thinking about ways to help people grow in what it means. Look for the “Tools for Young Worshippers” table where you will find:
- Pre-school bulletins with crayons so children who don’t yet read can trace words of worship and draw things they see & hear in worship. Return the clipboards, but take the paper home and discuss the words and their drawings with them.
- “Learning to Focus" bulletins designed to encourage grade school children to open their Bibles, read the Scripture along with the congregation and then fill in missing words. There are also key words listed to listen for during the sermon, a place to draw what they see and hear, and a place for their questions. These questions could be anything from a word they didn’t understand to 'why does the preacher wear a robe?' No question is too simple. Children are encouraged to put their questions in the “Children’s Questions” box and look for answers on the front page of the children's website by Monday afternoons. (children's names will not be included on the website)
- A third basket labeled "Serve those who Serve" containing a basic outline of the sermon. Older elementary and middle school children are encouraged to use these to write down things they find interesting or about which they have questions. At the end of the service, return the notes with the clipboard to the basket. Your notes will be given to members who were serving in the nursery, worship training and other ways that kept them from hearing the sermon along with a manuscript of the sermon. These members will communicate during the week with students concerning their ideas and questions.
- The “Order of Worship,” is posted on our website each Friday afternoon. This can be a useful tool to prepare for worship at home. Practice the songs or creeds, discuss the Kingdom readings, or read the Scripture to be preached.
4. Can I attend Worship Training with my child?
Absolutely! Anytime. Parents are always welcome. In fact, any adult or teenager is welcome to pop in from time to time. We all need this!
5. Should my child be ready to attend corporate worship once they have heard all 6 lessons?
Maybe, but not necessarily. Every child is different. Some may want to attend from age four until age seven. Some may attend one cycle and feel prepared. Parents should utilize the tools available as those tools fit their family.
6. There are five parts to the worship service, but you say six worship training lessons. What is the sixth lesson?
The 6th lesson is titled, "Church Seasons & Colors." You will notice that we utilize different colors and banners during different times of the year. This actually dates back to a practice the church began as early as the 4th century. Therefore, we do one lesson with the children to point out the things in the sanctuary that change from season to season. We discuss why, how long each season lasts, and what The Church focuses on during each season of the year.
What are your questions?
Please feel free to email your questions to the Director of Children's Christian Formation at firstname.lastname@example.org
“but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”