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4/25/2014 » 4/27/2014
South Carolina Youth Choir Festival

6/15/2014 » 6/21/2014
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6/22/2014 » 6/27/2014
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Featured Members
Rebecca E. GarrettRebecca is a 2013 winner of The Fellowship's Seminarian Award from Perkins School of Theology.
Daniel S. BankeDaniel is the new chair of the Children/Youth Interest Area.

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Founded to support musicians in The United Methodist Church, The Fellowship has grown to include worship artists, clergy, and laity involved in all aspects of worship from a variety of denominations and experiences. The Fellowship exists to assist worship leaders in creating meaningful worship experiences that bring people into deeper relationships with God and each other.


This Month's Featured Idea

April 2014: Preaching & Worship Planning

Submitted by:
Sarah McGiverin, Duke Memorial UMC, Durham, N.C.

When the grown-ups laugh at the children

Children think so differently from adults – and so they say surprising things. And when adults are surprised, very often they will laugh. But for a child who made a sincere remark during “children’s time,” being unexpectedly laughed at by a room full of grown-ups is mortifying. If worship leaders don’t intervene, the children will become reluctant to share, and the congregation may come to believe that children’s time is meant for their own entertainment. When you are leading children’s time, how can you respond when the congregation laughs?

  1. Prepare through prayer: Before every service, pray for yourself, that you would remember that everyone, even the people (of all ages!) that you find most obnoxious, are God’s beloved children.

  2. Think like a child: Listen carefully as the children speak to you and to one another. What do they mean? What about their life experience so far and their developmental stage leads them to say the things they say?

  3. Think like an adult: What was surprising or funny to the grown-up mind about what the child said? Was the laughter derisive, appreciative, astonished ...?

  4. Explain the adults to the children: For example: “I bet you weren’t expecting the grown-ups to laugh! I imagine they were laughing because they were surprised by how much you know about communion!”

  5. Explain the children to the adults: For example: “It takes a long time to learn what we consider to be “private” in our culture. I believe that you all have just demonstrated to Jaden why we usually talk about family arguments in small groups of one or two close friends at a time. But I do wonder why such transparency makes us grown-ups uncomfortable.”


Read other Five on the Fifth ideas