Worship For All Ages
“Worship For All Ages” is worship that seeks to value equally people of all ages. This is a service that intentionally considers the needs of diverse ages in worship and the accessibility of full participation of different generations (Allred, Sarah. “Vibrant Worship For All Ages.” Building Faith. Feb. 2019. https://buildfaith.org/vibrant-worship-for-all-ages/). What Worship For All Ages is not, is a “kid’s service.” Children’s worship services are created with only children in mind. Worship For All Ages is designed to provide an experience that allows God’s children of all ages to participate all at the same time.
There are several common traits of congregations that practice worship for all ages. “Intentionality” is the primary trait. These congregations are intentional in the decisions made regarding worship, in order to make worship accessible to people of all ages and developmental abilities. Full participation is vital to this type of worship experience. Trying to find ways to extend leadership invitations to as many people as possible and being deliberate about including a variety of generations is a good way to promote full participation in worship.
Parents are often concerned that their children will be “too loud” in church. Yet, from sneezes and coughs to dropped hymnals, churches are full of sounds. At any given service you might hear the beeping of someone’s hearing aid running out of batteries, the whoosh of an oxygen tank as someone breathes, or the clunk of a kneeler falling down. Like adults, children too create sounds. Whether it is laughter, crying, “whispers,” shuffling paper, or dropping crayons, the presence of children in worship is a reality. Churches practicing intergenerational worship acknowledge that while this may be a challenge, they also remind themselves that the gift of being together in worship outweighs the inconvenience of such.
Reflection and responsiveness are also traits that are important when offering worship for all ages. This reflection can take place in a variety of ways. Reflection of the week’s worship offerings are always discussed at the weekly staff meeting and I invite all of you to share your observations with me.
We are all created in the image of God (imago dei), we do not grow into the imago dei, nor do we outgrow it. What better way for our worship to reflect the fullness of God’s image than to have that image, in its fullness, participating and worshipping together, all at the same time.