Children's Sermons revisited

A few weeks ago I posted about an idea to shift the focus of children's sermons.

This is still a work in progress (you may see there are still five slots open for suggestions and modifications). I have made a public google calendar with the different focus for each children's sermon.

Here is the html link.
And, below is the calendar just embedded into this blog post.

I would love to hear comments you might have. Is there something you would add? Is there any thing you would remove or change? (Please note that on the first Sundays of each month we have communion and so we do not have children's sermons on those dates.)



Children's Sermons - reconsidered

Children's sermons/Children's time is something that plagues many a congregations (and I am not alone in this assessment - see Bishop Willimon). We want to help our children and let them know they are important in worship, but the best we can come up with is a 'moment' in worship when we tell the children some silly story, over their head object lesson, or many times use them to get a laugh.

I am sure there are people who do this moment very well - and you are few and far between.

Teaching children in worship - if only given one moment in worship - can be a tricky thing and I have been thinking about it for a while now (this post made one reader sick).

As Estee and I consider our move to a new faith community, we have batted around the idea of having only 52 pre-set children's sermons that repeat each year. Each lesson would focus on a spiritual discipline with the purpose of helping the kids learn practices that form them in the faith.

For instance, we might have the first Sunday in January we would talk about breath prayer. The second Sunday in January would focus on icons, while the third Sunday in January would look at lighting candles, and the fourth Sunday would look at alms giving and so on and so on. The lessons would repeat again come the next January and once again the kids would hear about breath prayer, icons, candles and alms giving.

In just a few moments sent on this we have about 30 ideas.

We would look to rename it from Children's time/sermon to something else, but we don't know what yet.

What do you think?

Alternate idea for Children's church

My son is 2 and 1/2 years old and my wife is a preacher in Arlington.  Jude, our son, is as active as any other kid his age and he has that overwhelming stigma to overcome of being a DOUBLE preacher's kid.  Here is a picture of him in worship a few Friday nights ago.

He sits by himself next to Mrs. Virgina Thompson who is a saint of AHUMC.  Literally he sits there the entire time and I am not even around.  

It got me thinking about how much I appreciate the fact that AHUMC does not have "Children's Church" during worship.  

Each week my son sits with a saint of the church (either at AHUMC or at First Arlington UMC) and participates in worship.  He has different models around the church, not just his parents, guiding him and helping him.  Notice Mrs. Virgina holding the song sheet for Jude to see.  He does not sing just yet (his daddy is not much of a singer either), but she sits with him and shows him "how we worship" together.  

I was thinking what if at church we had parents partner up with older adults to sit with children and model "worship" for these little ones?  I know my son is much better "behaved" for others and follows others better than for Estee or me.  What if children were being mentored in worship by saints of the Church each week?  What if parents sought out mentors for their children (such as Mrs.Virginia) to help them grow in the faith?  What if all parents were as active in our children's faith development as we are in their soccer development?

Anyway, in case I never said it before, I thank God for Mrs. Virgina.

Who are mentors to you or your kids?