In September I was walking through a store that already had Christmas decorations on sale. Among all the glittering gold and silver ornaments and red and green ribbon were snowmen, reindeer, and Santa Claus—but nothing that spoke to what the true anticipation of Christmas is all about.

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When we use the word ‘worship,’ we usually think of the gathered body of Christ—the place where we come to sing praises to God, pray, read scripture, offer our gifts, and hear the word proclaimed. However, worship is also affirming the reality and Lordship of God, confessing our dependence upon God, and celebrating our life with God. This can happen anytime and anywhere.

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Prayer is a gracious and powerful gift from God. Often, we just take this gift for granted and often we ignore it. But it’s our opportunity to communicate with God, the one who made us and who loves us and who, through prayer, is always accessible to us. So how do we share this precious gift with our children?

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Since the pillar of smoke first rose from the tabernacle, worship has included ushering others into the presence of God. Worship invites us into the spiritual realm—but from the beginning has done so by activating the senses. So how do we activate the senses of children in the context of worship and usher them into…

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Siloing became a part of church environments during the seeker movement of the last generation. The idea was to pack everything into an hour’s time frame. Because it wasn’t seeker friendly and didn’t fit into the one-hour time frame, classes for Christian formation (Sunday School) for everyone disappeared. Consequently, adults went to worship while children’s ministry happened simultaneously, and youth groups often had their own worship service.

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When we think of preschoolers in the church, our first inclination is to make sure they are well cared for—and this is a loving response by the body of Christ. But Jesus wants more from us. When Jesus says, “Let the little children come,” it’s an invitation for them to participate in the kingdom.

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