Everyone is welcomed to the table to meet Jesus. He’s the best gift any of us could ever get.

We have heard many stories from parents about the churches they never went back to. Stories range from a pastor waiting to continue a sermon until a child was removed for the sanctuary to parents being asked to leave a church while quietly and painfully going through a divorce.

If you are committed to walking alongside families in all of life’s messy stages, here are some ways to do that together. We encourage you to incorporate regular family friendly worship services in your church.

And remember, family worship services don’t have to take place every week, kids deserve a ministry with a focus on them! But how great it is to have moments of worship together as a family!

5 Ways for Family Friendly Worship in Your Church

1. Create a “kids in worship” space.

One way to do this is to give children a place as part of family worship. Many families cherish moments like these, where they get to experience worship together.

Allow for space where kids can learn and engage, while doing it alongside the members of their family.

2. Family Friendly Worship: Communicate your acceptance.

We often spend a lot of time communicating our expectations to kids. Consider if it’s appropriate to communicate your acceptance of kids in worship to your congregation. Notes in a bulletin and on announcements slides can share that kids are welcome in worship. And it never hurts to give ideas for ways to connect with a child.

Not only does this welcome new and hesitant parents, but it also sets the exception for the congregation. Plus, it reminds us that children are a part of the Church today and not an inconvenience at all. It’s a privilege to get the opportunity to worship alongside them.

When you honor children, you honor their families.

Wonder Ink’s 3-year, 52-week children’s ministry curriculum offers kids space to fully find their place in God’s Big Story. Children discover they are Known by God, Loved by Jesus, and Led by the Holy Spirit.

3. Involve kids in volunteer roles.

Be sure to invite kids to read Scripture, sing with the worship team, act out a skit, or even have them serve as ushers. These all can be great experiences for children (and adults).

It helps all of us develop a culture of community and serving, while showing children that they are key to the faith community.

Partnerships with mentors and other volunteer leaders provide a unique relationship to help children’s faith foundation grow as well.

When you honor children, you honor their families.

4. Make a connection.

Connect with families and find out what their challenges are. Are they looking to meet people? Do they need help with any special needs?

Often families are extremely busy, but they have come to your church for a reason. Start a conversation to get to know them and uncover how you can grow together and support their family.

5. Be inclusive.

We continue to be surprised at the expectations many believe the church has for them.

If you find a handful of people that aren’t able to engaged in the mainstream programming that your church offers, take that as opportunity to explore what alternatives you can embrace to support their life situation.

It’s important that people know the church was made for broken and hurting people. And we are all broken together. Everyone is welcomed to the table to meet Jesus. He’s the best gift any of us could ever get.

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