By Karen Ware Jackson, MDiv ’08
Each congregation, each sanctuary, each worship service has its own unique gifts and challenges. There isn’t a set formula for “how to” engage all ages in worship so pray, dream, and listen to the calling of the Holy Spirit.
And remember, you are not alone. I have colleagues and mentors and friends all over the globe whose work inspires, challenges, informs, and contributes to worship at my church. They can be your community too!
Check out my favorite resources for creating Cross+Gen worship:
- Flame Creative Kids Ministry – My “go to” for interactive prayers and learning for all ages. Easily searchable by key word with truly excellent resources on the sacraments.
- The Work Of The People – I love their video “visual liturgy” for benedictions, scripture, and prayers. They also have tons of teaching videos with top Christian theologians, writers, teachers and pastors.
- A Sanctified Art – Videos, banner designs, art work, graphics, liturgy – you name it, they’ve got it. And it’s GORGEOUS.
- Illustrated Children’s Ministry – resource for Illustrations, coloring sheets, art work, curricula, and leader guides for use with all ages in worship and classroom settings.
- Still Waters – Theresa Cho, creative worship maven. Her site has lots of great ideas for prayer stations and outlines for special services.
- Worshiping With Children – Carolyn Brown literally wrote the book on involving Children in worship. Her blog follows the lectionary cycle and posts worship aids one month in advance.
- Storypath– – a resource from Union Presbyterian Seminary that links children’s books to lectionary readings. I love using a storybook to offer visual images and engaging stories for the whole congregation. Follows the lectionary and posts at least one month in advance.
- Breaking New Bread – “A blog about forming children to be ministers, cross-generational worship, theology of childhood, and catechesis. Also, crafts.” This is where I got the idea for “Pew Projects” – hands-on activities introduced during the Word with Children that kids take back to their pews to engage during the sermon.
- Seasons of the Spirit: Fusion – A worship resource based on the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) that is “created in community to support and inspire any worship leader in the church.” You’ll find liturgy, prayer stations, art ideas, biblical background, and much more for every season of the church year!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, fear not! Join a Facebook group. These communities of church leaders share all kinds of wonderful ideas: Looking for a children’s book about peace, a sermon series for Advent, or where to find bird kites for your Pentecost worship? Ask! (Just search Facebook for these public groups and “request to join.”)
Karen Ware Jackson is a dynamic pastor leading worship that is accessible for all ages at Faith Presbyterian Church, a small but mighty congregation in Greensboro, NC. As the mother of two preschoolers who worship front and center, she knows firsthand the joys and challenges of parenting a child while leading an inter-generational congregation. She blogs about parenting, pastoring, and engaging all ages in worship at www.karenwarejackson.com
The Center for Lifelong Learning is also a great resource for church educators! Visit us and explore our many programs.