Our students worship with their families. We offer nursery for students up to age 4, but we continue to involve and make our worship services family friendly with visuals, participatory experiences throughout the service, call and response moments, moved the sermon to the middle of the order of worship, and invite many voices as part of our services. We wanted our children to know about what they saw, so we made Touch and See My Church a Faith Milestone for our 1st and 2nd graders.
The goals of Touch and See My Church, held a few weeks before Palm Sunday, are to familiarize the children with worship components and connect them to the people in worship leadership. The students also learn why and how active participation in worship is important for them.
Meet & Greet – the students move as a large group and interview several folks in worship leadership asking 4 basic questions: 1) What do you do?, 2) Why do you do it?, 3) Do you like what you do?, 4) How did you get to do what you do? (volunteer, pray about it, went to seminary, etc.) The students interviewed (in different places in the Sanctuary) a worship singer, a musician, an acolyte, a worship leader, our pastor, and the church secretary. The students get stickers as they move in a group from person to person because it gives us a sense of accomplishment and all kids like stickers!
Snack Lunch – meatballs in the a crock pot in hot dog buns (how we do meatball subs) with cheese balls and ice water is a snack as we show a teaching segment on something in the sanctuary from Chuck Knows Church. Families get a chance to chat with other families and we read a few sections of Come Worship With Me.
Scavenger Hunt – sending the children to ‘discover’ the sanctuary with their families makes for some great conversations and teaching moments for the parents to do the best teaching to their own children. Some of the scavenger hunt questions: What is the name of our pastor? How many keys are on the keyboard played by our worship leader? How many pews are in the sanctuary? How many pictures of Jesus are in our sanctuary? What color is the church’s front door? Who has more books, Pastor J or the church library? How many crosses are in the sanctuary? What is one item always on the altar table? What is in the baptismal font? Along the bottom of the list it reads, “Answer all the questions and return for something special to take home and share with your family. Psalm 122:1 ‘I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.””
We laughed through the debrief and we offered a Look and Find Bible (purchased in bulk inexpensively from a Children’s Pastor’s Conference) for the student to take home and share with his/her family.
We sent an email 3 weeks out, sent a snail-mailed invitation 2 weeks out, then reminded with text messages the week of. Scheduled it for immediately after worship while the leadership and the ‘physical items’ were still in place and the sanctuary was just recently used, 12:15pm-1:30pm.
What else would you add?
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