The worship arts ministry team told me it would happen, but I didn’t really believe them. They told me that, while I was to plan two services “for all ages” in November, families would not actually attend them.
I’ve been in many congregations where non-parents duck out on the “For all ages” Sundays. But I’ve never been to one where the parents do! So I planned two services with short pieces, no sermon, lots of music, activity…things that I thought all ages would enjoy.
And, very few families attended. I looked out and saw that there were maybe five intergenerational groups sitting in the congregation. And I wondered just what was going on.
And I’m still wondering. I’d love to hear from families about this. Should we stop planning for weeks when the families come to worship together? Is this something you don’t value? Should we do something different when there is no Religious Education program?
I’m working on another all ages service for December 23, focussed on stories and music about winter, and I’d love to see families there. My own child is grown now, but I remember how busy those years were, and we skipped church more than I wish we had. In hindsight, I honestly wish I’d taken more opportunities to sit together in places where we could sing and listen to stories and feel like part of a larger community.