When Florence Christian Church returns to full on-campus worship, this is how we welcome children to the worship service

Worship is when a community of faith gathers together to praise God and connect with God and each other.  There has been a trend over the past century or so of not including children and youth in the main sanctuary worship. However, here at Florence Christian Church, we create space for the WHOLE family of God to worship together. At the same time, we know that our children’s faith development needs may not be met in our main sanctuary worship designed mostly for adults. So, Florence Christian Church provides both time for the whole community to worship together as well as offers appropriate worship environments for all ages. We also provide opportunities for children who are interested in helping to lead worship to share their gifts by serving as scripture readers, leading the Children’s Blessing, sharing musical gifts, and other special opportunities.

Children’s Blessing

We encourage children to begin worship in the sanctuary with their families. After the music and our opening prayer, there is a Children’s Blessing where children are invited forward by one of the Pastors to lead the congregation in a special Children’s Blessing using both words and signs. After the blessing, children who wish to continue their worship in one of our special children’s worship services, Children Worship & Wonder or Kid’s Quest, will gather in the back of the sanctuary with their adult worship leader and then be safety escorted to their worship space. Parents are welcome to escort their children as they desire.

Our two developmentally appropriate offerings are Children Worship & Wonder designed for ages 4 to age 7 and Kid’s Quest designed for ages 8 to 13.  There is also nursery care for children age 5 and under at both worship services. It is located in the Atrium.

Parenting in the Pews

As always, children are welcome to worship in the main sanctuary for the entire worship service with their families. We welcome their wiggles and giggles, cries and coos! They are beloved members of the family of God and we are blessed by their presence.

To equip parents for “parenting in the pews,” we provide a special children’s bulletin with activities, coloring pages, books, and other quiet activities children can use during and after the worship service. These are located at the “Children’s Worship Center” in the back of the sanctuary.

Tips for Parenting in the Pews

  • Consider sitting towards the front where it is easier for your little ones to engage.
  • Quietly explain parts of the service and actions of pastors, musicians, and other leaders.
  • Sing, pray, and participate in the worship service yourself. Children learn behavior by mimicking you.
  • Help your children find the songs, the scripture reading, and where they are in the bulletin and show them how to follow along.
  • Encourage children to wait to use the worship aids until during the sermon so they can participate in the majority of the worship service.
  • If you have to leave the Sanctuary with your child, please feel free to do so as needed.
  • Bring some special candy that you can give during the worship. Hard candy is a good option since it lasts.

Children and Communion

As we say each week, all are invited by Jesus Christ to the Lord’s Table and this includes children. Regardless of whether they are baptized or unbaptized, children are welcome to participate in our weekly communion service. We see it as an opportunity for children to know that they are loved by God and included in our church family. It is also an opportunity to teach children the meaning of God’s love in communion.