Our children’s ministry department leads a Thanksgiving Worship Service for Children’s Ministry the Wednesday night or Sunday morning before or after Thanksgiving. This meaningful part of our worship service involves and excites our children.
Two weeks in advance, teachers ask children to each think of one special thing they’re thankful for. We also send home notes to the parents, letting them know about this special Thanksgiving event and inviting them to attend.
One week in advance, teachers help the children make a facsimile or token that’ll represent the item they’re thankful for, such as a drawn picture, written words or a paper model of the object. An original poem or words to a song can also help children more fully express their thankfulness.
During the Thanksgiving service, the worship leader reads an appropriate scripture such as Psalm 107:22. Children come to the front of the church with their offerings while the choir or congregation sings an appropriate hymn; for example, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” or “We Are So Blessed.”
The worship leader encourages the children to lay their sacrifices of thanksgiving on the altar or in an appropriate place. The children stay to offer silent prayers of thanksgiving. Adults are then encouraged to join the children at the front of the church. Afterward, the worship leader says a prayer of thanksgiving.
The items are left at the altar while children and adults return to their seats.
You can brighten up shut-ins or nursing home residents’ lives by later giving them each one of the sacrifices the children have made.
Martin Johnson Wichita, Kansas
Copyright© Group Publishing, Inc. / Children’s Ministry Magazine