Nuts and Bolts provides practical ideas for small churches to enhance their ministries. If you have an idea to share please let us know. See form below.
Children LOVE change. They are eager to take on new roles, to measure how much they have grown, to move from one stage of life to the next. Adults, on the other hand, are often resistant to change. What comes naturally to a child is threatening to them. It may just be too much work.
Pastors can implement change in a congregation by working with the children. This can be done during worship. Add a few minutes to the children’s sermon time and work with the young people while they are sitting right there with their parents — a captive audience. Change will be much more acceptable and natural this way.
For example, instead of just giving a short sermon to the children, teach them a song. Sing it a few times. Children love repetition. The last time or two invite the adults to sing with them. You may have just taught a new hymn to the entire congregation and probably without ANY objection. This is a baby step, but it opens the door to new thinking without confronting adults in any way.
Practiced regularly, “change,” introduced with the children, will grow to become a natural part of parish life. We’ll share other ideas for use of this special opportunity in later posts.
A Maundy Thursday Service for Small Groups
Let’s face it — Maundy Thursday services are usually attended by small groups even in large parishes. This service makes the small gathering much like the assembly of disciples in the Upper Room, which is remembered on the Thursday before Easter. It uses simple foods to symbolize the journey which brought God’s people to that special night and the foreshadowing of the Sacrifice on Good Friday. Children enjoy this service, and there is even a special role for the youngest child present just as there is at a Passover meal.
Here’s an idea that works well in small congregations. Rather than order single palm fronds from a florist, use the same amount of money or less and purchase a palm plant at a produce store. They usually cost between $9 and $15. Place the palm plant at the front of the church for the Blessing of the Palms and then allow members to cut off a branch for a Palm Sunday procession. It will probably be more like the event the Church recalls on this day.
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