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Children and Worship Showcase

A showcase highlighting the importance of including children in meaningful ways in worship, both in the main worship space and in other age-appropriate, unique worship spaces.

Key Insights

    Wise is the congregation that:

    • Acknowledges children are full and active participants in worship.
    • Encourages children to participate in worship in meaningful, age-appropriate ways.
    • Allows children to explore worship through “godly play” and worship centers or stations.
    • Provides good leaders (well-trained and equipped) to guide children in worship.

    Books supported by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

    AtPsalmsSchool_150x150.jpgEn la escuela de los Salmos/At Psalms School (GIA Publications, 2019) 
    by María Eugenia Cornou, Joel Schoon-Tanis, and John D. Witvliet 
    The psalms teach us how to listen to and talk with God in worship, at church, and every day. 

    At-Gods-Table_English-Korean_72_205x100.jpgEn la mesa de Dios/하나님의 식탁 /At God's Table (Calvin Press, 2017 and 2018) 
    by María Eugenia Cornou, Joel Schoon-Tanis, Carrie Steenwyk, and John D. Witvliet
    A Spanish-English and a Korean-English children's book that explores the richly symbolic practice of the Lord's Supper in Christian worshiping communities.

    Teach Us to Pray_web_rgb.jpgTeach Us to Pray (Calvin Press, 2016) 
    by Lora A. Copley and Elizabeth Vander Haagen
    A daily prayer book guiding families in both listening to and speaking to God through each season of the Christian calendar.

    AtYourBaptism_72.jpgAt Your Baptism (Eerdmans, 2011) 
    by Carrie Steenwyk and John D. Witvliet
    Using simple, clear text adapted from the French Reformed Church liturgy and paired with vibrant illustrations on every page.

    Shaped by God: Twelve Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth, and Adults (Faith Alive, 2010) 
    by Robert Keeley
    Twelve experts share their perspectives on faith formation at home, in worship, in education, in intergenerational contexts, in people with developmental disabilities, and more.

    Helping Our Children Grow in Faith (Baker Publishing, 2008) 
    by Robert Keeley 
    A book designed for children's ministry and worship leaders, Sunday school teachers, and pastors—as well as parents—who want to nurture the spiritual development of the children in their lives.

    Together We Worship (Christian Schools International, 2008) 
    by Laura Keeley and Robert Keeley
    This book identifies four main elements of worship and provides activities, worksheets, and audio resources for teaching them in a classroom setting.

    A Child Shall Lead (Choristers Guild, 1999) 
    by John D. Witvliet 
    This book covers strategies for teaching children about worship and how to plan worship services that involve children more fully.

    Additional Resources

    Young Children and Worship (Jossey-Bass, 2003)
    by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman
    By integrating religious education and worship, this book presents an approach for introducing children to the wonder of worship.

    Children's Books about Worship 
    There are a number of excellent children’s books that help educators, church school leaders, and parents teach children about worship. These books focus on the sacraments, Christian year, the psalms, and prayer. 

    Children and Worship: An annotated bibliography of resources

    Lora Copley and Elizabeth Vander Haagen on Family Prayer and Worship

    Brandon Helder on The Gift of the Cross Holy Week Devotional for Children

    Mimi L. Larson on Keys to Involving Children in Worship

    Olivia Stewart on Young Children and Worship

    Faith Formation from Birth to Age 20

    Beyond the 'Children's Message': Welcoming Children in Worship

    Let the Children Come

    All God's Children Have Gifts: Disability and worship

    It Takes a Nurture the Children