Thanks to Building Faith and Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia for this Great Idea! This is a Great Idea for those preparing to return to in-person worship, especially for families with small children who haven’t participated in in-person worship much or ever.

Rev. Miller-Mutia offers instructions for creating an “Altar of Preparation” which supports children and adults in “getting ready to find stillness and to listen to God in worship”.

She also shares tips for Teaching Adults How to Help Children Get Ready, including a full Session Outline for parent/caregiver learning.

Read the full Great Idea here.

While Miller-Mutia’s article assumes in-sanctuary participation in worship, a similar training, including developing family rituals for preparation, may be really helpful for families who continue to worship at home. Such a training could include children, or not. It might also include developing group norms around expectations for behavior and engagement during at-home worship times.

The Altar of Preparation could also function as a Prayer Corner for daily prayer/devotional times, meaning there is a sacred space within the home that holds that sense of being in the Presence of God throughout the week. This may help bring a sense of awe and respect to at-home worship, while still allowing for playfulness and casualness for the sake of joy and comfort.

This could also a Great Idea for worship planners and congregational leaders to participate in together with parents and/or children, as it develops awareness of behavioral expectations and increases awareness of how young people experience, interact, and engage with various parts of the worship service. This type of training with worship planners may spark conversations around more child-friendly / intergenerational worship, in general.