As a parent, and also in my role as Children’s Minister, I often find myself reflecting on what is the best thing I can do for my kids. I’m sure we all do this in different situations, look for the one fix, the big solution, the answer to everything. People can be keen to give parents THE answer, you know, the one that will make the difference, make the baby sleep through the night, make the toddler eat everything you offer, make the homework manageable or solve the college search nightmare.
When it comes to church and faith I don’t think, as in life, there is one answer. No one-size-fits-all solution to bringing up a child in faith. But I do know the two things that have helped my kids most (and I asked them!) are
1. Showing up and taking part: as parents demonstrating church and being part of a church community is important to us. Sometimes it might be inspiring, sometimes it is routine, but it is a staple part of our life.
2. Being welcomed: as a community our part is to welcome, not overwhelm, each child. Learn a name, be interested in the things a child is doing, show the Sunday school you support their activities. Having things arranged for kids but not being segregated away from the wider community.
These two things take effort, but they are worth it! If children aren’t part of church, either because they aren’t there or because their activities are always segregated from the main congregation, they won’t learn to be part of church. Our efforts to have children involved in worship as full members of our community, present for the Eucharist, singing, serving, welcoming and reading are part of building a faith that can last, in community.
Thank you for all you do to support our families and children.
~Jan Scrutton, Children’s Minister