Young Children in Worship, by Robin R. Rezek

Jul 1st, 2013 | Category: Dissertation Abstracts @ Concordia
By Robin R. Rezek, Ph.D. Early Childhood Education

Abstract

Westerhoff (2000) reminds Christian congregations that children become members of the Christian Church from the moment they are baptized. Therefore, infants and young children should be present during congregational corporate worship services. It is through mentoring and modeling of the Christian faith that young children have optimal opportunity to grow in their relationship with God.

The goal of this qualitative case study was to look at what happens during corporate worship from the perspective of young children. Data were gathered from thirteen worship participants (ages five-nine) from two Lutheran congregations in order to determine the elements of corporate worship that help them encounter God.

The findings reveal that intergenerational corporate worship provides an opportunity for the mentoring/modeling dynamic that is central to Westerhoff’s (2000) theory. The participants in this study report having meaningful encounters with God during church through various elements. Future research should replicate this inquiry in Christian congregations of other denominations.

Key Words: Christian Church, church, corporate worship, faith, godly encounters, intergenerational worship, Lutheran worship, worship, young children

Author Information

Robin R. Rezek, Ph.D. Early Childhood Education robinrezek@comcast.net, robin.rezek@cuchicago.ed.

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