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JESUS AND CHILDREN (BIRTH–AGE 12)

MUSIC & WORSHIP RESOURCES

Nolan Williams, Jr., Lectionary Team Liturgist and Kenneth Mosley, Assistant Liturgist

Worship Planning Notes

Make special efforts to involve children in almost every aspect of the worship service today (and we would add on most Sundays). Also, be sure to involve children with special needs (those who are deaf or differently abled). Consider the needs of the children in your church or organization, as well as their taste and their abilities. Also, always remember that children are capable if we train them, celebrate them, and expect excellence from them. Finally, remember that children love singing adult songs and playing instruments.

1. Call to Worship, Litany, and Acrostic
(a) Call to Worship
O God, your Word promises to bless our children, and our children’s children. Our generations are important to you. We humbly ask that you empower us to devote our time, our resources, and our love to our children. Help us to undergird them with strength to achieve their goals, courage to conquer every obstacle, and compassion during tough times. With each passing day, grace us with the wisdom to shape this next generation—all for your glory. In your blessed name we pray. AMEN.

(b) Litany
Child Reader: We are fearfully and wonderfully made, a part of the Creator’s marvelous work. We, though young, are your people, precious lambs in the Creator’s flock. For this we are grateful. People: With thankful hearts, we celebrate our children. We realize we’ve much to give and to receive, to teach them and to learn from them. We commit to positively shape the hearts and minds of those who will follow our footsteps. Youth Reader: There is nothing too difficult for our Heavenly Parent, and God’s Son welcomes those with childlike hearts into his kingdom. People: Children are a gift from God. We cherish them, nurture them, train them, and prepare them for fruitful work in the kingdom. Child Reader: Our lives are given by God, our souls are redeemed by his Son, and our minds are renewed by God’s Spirit. We welcome God’s direction in our daily lives. People: With Jesus, the Light of the world and the Word of God as a light for the pathway of our lives, we will commend our young people for their accomplishments, help redirect their missteps, and walk with them through life’s pathway. Child Reader: With respect for our elders, our community, and ourselves, we will, God being our help, be leaders and pioneers, forging ahead to fulfillment, living out God’s plan and will for our lives while serving those around us. People: Bless now this generation, Lord, and endow us with the ability to unlock the unending potential that resides within each young person, loving them and welcoming them, just as Jesus did. All Adults: Jesus does love all children, and desires a healthy life and a wholesome environment in which they can flourish. God grace us with the wisdom to withstand distractions, to yield to divine direction, and to be godly examples to a vulnerable generation.

(c) Acrostic—“Our Duty”
Select four parent/child pairs. Have the parents line up on one side of the Sanctuary and the children line up on the opposite side. Provide two sets of cards (8½ x 11 or larger) that spell out the word D-U-T-Y. Assign the same letter to each parent/child pair. Have each pair take turns revealing their common letter and sharing how the word D-U-T-Y applies to parents and children. Each parent speaks to his/her responsibility to the child while the child speaks to his/her responsibility to the parent.

They all begin by saying in unison, “OUR DUTY”:


Parent #1: I will DEVOTE myself to rearing you to the best of my ability. I will ensure that you have all you will need to become a responsible adult and citizen, and to realize God’s plan for your life. Child #1 And I will DEVOTE myself to following your directions and your example. I will strive, in every way, to please you and God! U—
Parent #2: I will be UNDERSTANDING of you and sensitive to your needs and concerns. Child #2: And I will be UNDERSTANDING of you especially when your directives differ from my desires, recognizing that you have my best interests at heart. T—
Parent #3: I will always TREAT you fairly. I will speak to you in love, never calling you by an ungodly name, always striving to be open and honest with you. Child #3: And I will TREAT you respectfully, recognizing the rules you establish for our household, and honoring you as my (mother/father). Y—
Parent #4: I will not YIELD to the temptation to be your buddy or your friend. I will not YIELD the authority and responsibility I have to provide for you and to guide you to be the person God would have you to be. Child #4: And I will not YIELD to the temptation of wanting to have things my way, or engaging in negative behavior when I don't like or understand your directives.
All Together: Together we recommit ourselves to God and to one another.
All Parents (turning to face the children): This is our DUTY to you!
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