Monday, June 1, 2015


Welcome the children

Nothing encourages us more in the Kids Friendly office than when a minister phones (as one did recently) to say that he/she has been thinking about how to more effectively welcome children in church. We can’t get out of the door fast enough to start a conversation.

Christian educators have long recognised that a key to children coming to faith is their opportunity to engage in the practices of faith. As worship is one of our main faith practices, the way we welcome and include children in worship is vitally important if we take seriously the call to disciple children.

Kids Friendly offers training workshops on this important topic (Help there’s a child in my church ( and has a quick survey (Children in worship questionnaire – email if you’d like it,) to help churches identify gaps and opportunities. However, truly welcoming children in church often requires a culture change.

I love and highly recommend an article “Welcome the Children” I read recently in an Australian publication “Equip”. The minister writer Alison Sampson talks about faith as a “culture” that children absorb when worshiping in community. Her church decided that children needed to be alongside adult Christian practitioners as much as possible, building intergenerational relationships that can ignite their faith. To truly welcome children she suggests we need to “interrogate” our worship services. She adds: “We weren’t interested in dumbing things down. We were interested in finding ways to add movement and symbolic actions that would be interesting to children.”

Are you up for “interrogating” your worship service to make it more welcoming of children?

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