How to Make Worship Kid-Friendly

I read a great article recently with the above title. You can find the whole thing here:

This article suggested that traditional, liturgical worship is exactly what our kids need. I would suggest it is what our teens and adults need as well. Worship style is not just a matter of taste. It’s about content and continuity with the Church that has come before us. And it has real implications for the future of the Church. And notice that I said need rather than want. We don’t always know what is good for us.

“To be honest, I see a generation that is crying out for the sustenance that traditional worship can bring. For boundaries, for beauty, for connection to something bigger that themselves. Their faith is parched for corporate worship that will last, that will sustain…One of the lies of contemporary commercial worship is that modern entertainment is the only way to engage the fleeting attention span of our youngest worshipers.”

Now, liturgical worship is demanding. It is like learning to dance (and by that I don’t mean the kind of dancing that happens at prom). It takes time and energy to learn by heart the rhythm of the service. But everything worth doing places demands on us. And teaching our kids to participate by example offers eternal benefits.

It is possible to truly engage our kids with liturgical worship. It will demand something of parents, teaching their kids the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, practicing at home, and involving them in the whole service. And it will demand something of the congregation, gladly welcoming the involvement of children and the little bit of extra sound that may bring.

It is easier to give in to the pressures of entertaining them with services that are loud, showy, and visually stimulating. But, “In making the Church entertaining, we’ve dug a massive hole and thrown our children into it.” We will always lose the entertainment battle.

Liturgical worship requires us to engage with God’s Word – to engage with Christ. And it creates a new culture for the Church – a culture that is not a cheap knock-off of what the world is doing at the moment. It offers us a real alternative. It offers us the biblical practices of the Church: “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:42).

So join me in worship this week. Bring your kids and grandkids. Hand them a hymnal. Show them where we are in the Service folder. And teach them by example to sing, chant, listen, kneel, and pray. Show them how important this is by your attendance and your participation. See you Sunday!