Worshiping with small children can be a challenge for young parents. Often, it's a struggle just to get everyone dressed and to church on time. They then arrive at church, already stressed, and sit down to an hour of trying to keep their children quiet. A common complaint heard as they exit: "I just don't get anything out of the service anymore."


Some congregations have addressed this issue by offering alternative programming for young children during the worship service. Others feel it is important for all children to attend worship. If your congregation follows the latter plan, the resources below can help.


In Parenting in the Pew: Guiding Your Children into the Joy of Worship, Robbie Castleman encourages parents to view worship with children in a new light. The Bible tells us that parents are to be responsible for the spiritual development of their children. It is important during those early years to teach children about worship and to include them in the activity. Our jobs, as parents, is not necessarily just to keep them quiet for that hour. Robbie instructs parents to view that time as a teaching opportunity, explaining the components of the service and why we include them, helping children follow along and participate, and making it a meaningful time for the child. This quick and easy to read book is available online.


Kids in the Divine Service is also available at http://lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=451. These bulletin inserts explain the various components of the worship service, the objects placed in the sanctuary, and special holidays and services we observe. They are simply written an easy for a parent to read to the children either before or after the service. For $13, you receive enough bulletin inserts for an entire year with copyright permission to copy for your entire congregation.


Shirley Morgenthaler developed the resource below. Print this page back to back on card stock, then cut them in half and fold them in half. They are a great size then to place in your pews. This insert instruct parents on how to "teach" children about worship.