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IDEAS THAT WORK

TRUSTING THE SERMON TO CHILDREN

On a dark and stormy Sunday morning, Pastor Charles Smith looked out at his congregation and almost fainted. The children were actually paying attention. He knew it wasn't just his eloquence. He suspected that Deborah Byrne's plan to involve children in the worship service was working.

Deborah, a volunteer in the church, creates special worship bulletins for children ages 7 and up. Recently introduced at Maplegrove Alliance Church in Chesterton, Ohio, the bulletins grab the interest of children and help them better understand the sermon and worship service.

Each week Pastor Smith gives Deborah his plans for the next Sunday: sermon outline, notes, the order of worship, hymns, and Scripture references. Deborah tries to design a worship aid simple enough for 7-year-olds and yet challenging and/or funny enough for the older children.

Each bulletin is four pages with a cover sketch on the sermon's theme. The children read the same order of worship as adults, but ...

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