Remember what dinner was like before your children were born? Eating with preschoolers or elementary schoolers or teenagers is different! Eating with children at each age has its particular joys and trials. At times it drives adults a little nuts. But, when after 18 or so years we find ourselves eating with adults only again, we recall those loud, messy meals fondly (at least the better mealsJ) and miss them.
It is the same way with worship. Worshiping with children changes the way you worship forever. If “before children” worship was a quiet “just for me” time, that is over and done. It is a new day. Worshiping with children is a team sport. You can no more worship beside your children than you can eat beside them. Both are interactive. You are now a worship coach. Your children will insist that you hone your worship skills and deepen your understanding of worship – and almost everything else – as you draw them into worship. Expect to be embarrassed, stretched, frustrated, delighted and deeply enriched by the process.
To live into that vision of parents and children worshiping together and to help congregations support parents, over the next few weeks I will post a series of lists of strategies parents can use “in the pew” as they worship with their children. At this point I plan separate lists of strategies for singing, praying, and listening to scripture in the sanctuary with children. More may evolve. Join the process by suggesting more lists and/or adding strategies to each of the lists. This is definitely a work in progress.