Children / Worship Arts

WHEN CHILDREN LEAD

At Smoke Rise our philosophy of children in worship revolves around Matthew 19: 14:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

Jesus’ words calls us to expect more than children sitting and listening in sanctuary worship on occasion or removing them from the larger corporate worship experience to learn by themselves. At Smoke Rise children are fully integrated leaders m worship. On any given Sunday child lead through prayer, give testimony, usher, sing, or play instruments.

According to Danny Vancil, “This is important for children because through leading they are learning the traditions and heritage of our faith. They are taking ownership of their faith and not on outside looking in. Because of this their faith grows with them and is not discarded as adults:’

I believe that Jesus’ call for inclusion was to bring children into the fold was important for the children. It is in worship that children see their leaders and mentors model the practices of their faith. I also believe that Jesus called the children into the crowd he gave the adults opportunities to learn in ways that they had not experienced before. Recently I was talking to Carol Palmer and asked her what she enjoyed about children leading worship. She said, “Their simple but personal prayers are meaningful to me. [Their prayers] show me that children are spiritual beings and provide reminders of my spiritual journey:’ As one of the adults in our congregation that works most often with children I could not agree more strongly; children provide me with spiritual guidance each and every week.

The moment Jesus welcomed the children into the crowd both groups were enriched. On Sunday May 7th we are inviting people of all ages to be enriched through a deeper experience of worship. The children will lead worship through song, word, and deed. I hope that you take the time to be welcomed into the fold this Children’s Sunday.
Becky Caswell-Speight

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