Jump directly to the Content

Worship Through a Child's Eyes

A 9-year-old's observations from a liturgical and a contemporary service.

Back in college my professor of American religion gave us an interesting assignment. We had to visit a number of local churches, sit in their sanctuaries, and write down our observations of the spaces. Based on these observations, we were to deduce the theological beliefs of each congregation. How were the seats arranged? What was the visual focus of the space? Why did the Presbyterian church have a soaring pulpit? Why did the Episcopal church have a baptismal font at the entrance? (The most intriguing churches were ones where their explicit theology did not conform to the implicit theology communicated by their space.)

Because of this assignment I was intrigued (and rather proud) when I discovered my 9-year-old daughter conducting a similar exercise. Zoe has joined me at a number of different churches this past year, and during one of the services I noticed her writing in her journal. She later showed me a list of things she had observed in the service that were different from our home ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

Q & A: Rick Warren
Q & A: Rick Warren
The uber-pastor talks with CT about politics, same-sex marriage, the economy, and baptism.
From the Magazine
Reading God’s Word like a Poem, Not an Instruction Manual
Reading God’s Word like a Poem, Not an Instruction Manual
The Bible teaches us, says Matthew Mullins, but its method of teaching always entails more than information and guidance.
Editor's Pick
Your Presence Is a Living Sermon
Your Presence Is a Living Sermon
Showing up makes God’s love tangible when people need it most.