Children’s Church: Should it be Super Fun or Super Serious?


There are differing opinions on the level of excitement and fun that should be used in children’s church. Some would say that it should be filled with video clips, sound effects, games, object lessons and fun. Others would fight against such things by proposing we train children to be able to handle big church by giving them their own version of an adult-like service.

I find myself falling into a different category if you can call it a category at all. I think each church has to decide for itself what atmosphere it provides based on the requirements of their congregation. Even then I don’t believe that you can set the bar and walk away. My own services have changed over the years, going from one extreme at times to the other, based on what my kids needed at the time. Sometimes even within the same service.

I have an unwritten rule that I use to gauge the amount of ‘fun’ I use in my services. I often share this with my kids as a way to improve their behavior if we’re having a ‘full moon’ Sunday. Every week we make a deal:

If you promise to learn, I promise to make it fun.

There are times when fun makes the learning go smoothly. There are other times I have to rein it in in order to get my point across. I find that I have to keep part of my mind on the message… and the other part out there in the crowd. If the one part isn’t receiving what the other part is sending, it’s time to change things up. Right there… on the fly.

Sometimes fun works. Sometimes fun looks serious, like a secret club meeting in the back yard. Sometimes it’s not about fun at all… but about interest in the topic. Mostly it’s about where your kids are and what they need. Here’s the other guideline I heard somewhere:

A child’s experience with the content is as important as the content.

If you can’t get it in their heads somehow, it doesn’t really matter how good of a point your making. I refuse to slot my children’s church into a ‘fun’ or ‘church-like’ category because doing so would limit the methods I need to use to get the Word out. My hope would be that other Children’s Ministers would keep their options open as well. It doesn’t always have to be a playground… or a funeral.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *