Like many churches, we struggle with how to involve children in worship in meaningful ways. The children who are too old for the nursery or our small children's worship often complain that the main worship service is boring. However, after introducing two programs for older kids during Sunday worship—Bible Alive Drama and Tweens’ Worship—the attendance of families has dramatically increased and kids tell their parents how much they love going to church.
Our Bible Alive drama program gets kids more excited about worship because they get the chance to be not mere observers or even participants but leaders in the service.
On the second Sunday of each month, the older children are invited to join Bible Alive. The director of Youth Ministry and I take the children into the Fellowship Hall, sit around tables in the circle and take turns reading the Scripture text for the following Sunday. It is a lesson in itself to find the passage, teaching the children to identify Old Testament or New Testament, order of gospel, which chapter and verse, without simply announcing the page number. Each child reads one verse. After the common Scripture reading, I briefly introduce the passage. Then we hand out prepared scripts to the children and read those together as a group. We rehearse the script in preparation for performing the drama the following Sunday as part of the children’s sermon.
On Monday I send out an e-mail to the parents of children who participated at the rehearsal the day before (usually around 15-20), encouraging them to practice the attached script at home. However, I always have additional copies available the following Sunday.
The following Sunday, as the Bible Alive children enter the sanctuary, I remind them of their role and often hand out additional copies of the script. As the children come up for children’s sermon, I make sure we have an additional microphone for them and after introductory words, the ‘actors and actresses’ read out their lines in front of the congregation and the younger children.
We have seen many benefits to this program. The children live out their faith at home as they read their script with their families and how the Bible passage relates to their lives. The families are involved by reading the script with their children and talk at the dinner table about Scripture and how that particular text relates to their lives. The children are excited to participate actively in the worship service. They invite their friends and families. The congregation embraces the idea of an ‘active children’s sermon’ and loves having our younger members involved in a visible way in worship.
Several scripts are available for download below.