Children & Worship Worship is a program designed to immerse young children in the wonder of worship in an age-appropriate way. Influenced by the philosophy of Maria Montessori, the Children & Worship approach uses storytelling, multi-sensory materials, wondering questions, and creative response time to help children meet and learn about God.
Children & Worship follows the fourfold order of worship used in most Presbyterian churches:
- Gathering of God’s people: children are welcomed into the worship space by a greeter and a storyteller, who invite them to sit in a circle and quiet themselves in preparation for the story.
- Proclamation of the Word: children are encouraged to explore biblical stories through the use of textured materials, figurines, sand, candles and well-crafted storytelling. After storytelling, time is spent wondering about the feelings and experiences of the characters in the story.
- Response to the Word: storytellers create space for children to respond to the Word through art, storytelling, dancing and prayer.
- Sending of God’s people into the world: Each time of gathering ends with rituals to change the light and send the children into the world with a special blessing.
Children & Worship is a versatile program. In most cases, Children & Worship is used during Sunday School with children three to seven years old; however, it has also been successfully used with adults with developmental disabilities and seniors with dementia as well as during inter-generational worship services, messy church gatherings, and vacation bible school events.
If you are interested in using Children & Worship in your church, a good first step is to purchase Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman’s Young Children and Worship from your favourite retail bookseller or online book distributor.
The PCC is pleased to offer training for congregations who want to start a Children & Worship progamme and those wanting to grow their programme. Basic Training is 12 hours and includes storytelling, lectures, discussions and practice. Introductory workshops (1 ½ hours), and various enrichment/specialized events (3-6 hours) are also available. Please contact Canadian Ministries or call 1-800-619-7301 ext. 271.