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2012: Starting the year well

11 January 2012 No Comment

Getting ready to begin programs with children means this is a busy time of the year! But while you are sorting crayons, counting numbers of children, looking at the curriculum, checking books and organising teachers and leaders don’t forget to claim some space in a worship service at your church to bless the work you are doing and ‘commission’ the leaders. This is a great opportunity to highlight the work you are doing with children and families and encourage others in your Christian community to join you in prayer and preparation for the year ahead.

Below is a sample commissioning service and an additional prayer you might like to use as a starting point, and adapt for your situation. If you use a data projector at church, use some photos from the previous year – maybe playgroup, maybe a camp or Sunday school event, and show them to the congregation. Interview a leader, showcase the work you are doing and take the opportunity to thank the congregation for their support. Sometimes people are unaware of what you are doing, so use this service to raise awareness.

Open-eyed prayer for a Children and Families’ Ministry Commissioning

Today let’s use our eyes to pray.

First, let us look up and around and out … and in silence give thanks to God for the things we see that God has given us, and the things which remind us of God.

Now take a look around us at the people in this place, and especially the children, and in silence give thanks for their special qualities and for the way they help us see God.

Let us now close our eyes and cover them with our hands. In silence let us confess to God the times when we choose not to see …

When we choose not to see injustice or suffering or needs around us. When we ignore children and families, young people, people with disabilities, the elderly, migrants, people begging in the street. Let us confess the times we choose not to notice the hurt we ourselves cause to others or when we choose not to look for the good in those around us… and when we choose to not see our own self-centredness.

Let us look at the darkness before our eyes and feel the isolation of blindness. (wait a few seconds)

Now let us open our eyes and rejoice in the light! God is light and in God there is no darkness!

When we walk in the light we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Let us be assured that through Christ our sins are forgiven!

Thanks be to God. Amen.

Download as a Word document.

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