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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
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?
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.
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?
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 ...?
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!”
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.”