Children and Worship

Children and Worship provides one way of being in worship with children three to nine years of age. Each week hundreds of children who are part of the over three hundred RCA congregations that use the program experience rather than merely learn about worship. This program continues to be one of the most effective ways of nurturing childrens’ faith and preparing them for worship with the whole congregation.

Children and Worship is a cooperative ministry of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC), and The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC).

line drawing of boy and girl on their knees in circle with rays

Overview

Children and Worship provides an age-appropriate way of being in worship with children ages three to nine. Each week thousands of children, who are part of hundreds of congregations in North America and around the world, use the program to experience rather than merely learn about worship. Based on Montessori principles of early childhood learning, this program continues to be one of the most effective ways of nurturing children’s faith and preparing them for worship with the whole congregation.

Basic training: This 12-hour event features presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on practice for those beginning the program. Participants become acquainted with the administration, philosophy, and content of the program; learn how to present Bible stories; and see how to create an environment that cultivates the imagination and invites children to experience the wonder and mystery of God. If your church has an active program, build your local capacity by training additional leaders.
Cost: $120 per person (does not include the book Young Children and Worship, by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman, or meals; does include $25 nonrefundable fee). Minimum number of participants is eight. (They can be from different churches.) One pastor per registered congregation is encouraged to attend for free.

Enrichment events: This three- to four-hour event is designed specifically for people who have been working in a Children and Worship center. Encourage your leadership team to enrich your Children and Worship ministry or receive training based on Sonja Stewart’s second book, Following Jesus.

Specialized events: Held at your Children and Worship center (or another center), this four- to six-hour event fosters community among your volunteers while your group learns more about wondering, being a greeter, signing, or some other aspect of Children and Worship.
Cost: $50 per hour, trainer’s travel costs, overnight lodging and meals, church custodial fee (if requested), and event snacks.

Introduction: Held at your church or a Children and Worship center, this one and-a-half-hour event is designed for church leaders and parents who want to know more about the program before committing to training.
Cost: $50, plus travel costs. Note: Events held in Canada have a different fee structure. Event dates and online registration: Find an event in your area, register online, and check out additional resources at www.rca.org/cwevents. Canadian congregations, see the PCC website below.

Children and Worship Training Events and Registration

Children and Worship training is a cooperative ministry of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRC), and The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC). A network of trainers offer workshops in worship centers across the United States and Canada.

Using the books Young Children and Worship, by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman; I Wonder…More Bible Stories for Children and Worship, by Janet Schreuder; and Following Jesus: More About Young Children and Worship, by Sonja Stewart, worship leaders are trained through basic training events, enrichment events, and specialized events. Trainers are also available to make introductory presentations to church boards, parent groups, etc.

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Resources
  • Los Ninos Pequenos y La Adoracion, a translation used in Mexico, is now available for download.
  • On the Way to Bethlehem. Adapts the Children and Worship approach for a Christmas service.
  • Carols, Candlelight, and Tableau. Inspired by the Children and Worship approach, this tableau of the nativity is designed for Christmas Eve.
Next Generation Engagement