When Children Play Church

child preacherI shared in a recent post that TBC used to play church in her room by singing hymns in front of the mirror.  I’ve had parishioners tell me that their preschoolers “play church” by pretending to preach to their dolls and stuffed animals.

I wonder how most children play church.  Do they pretend to be preachers?  Choir directors?  Organists?  Sunday School Teachers?

Or do they “play church” by pretending to make casseroles for their neighbors?  Do they “play church” by pretending to stock food pantries or driving someone to the hospital or praying with somebody?

As some of our faith communities are shifting from a worship-focus to a mission focus, I’m wondering if our children are noticing.  How do the children in your life “play church”?  Or do they?

Image source.


4 responses to “When Children Play Church

  1. My daughter used to play church with her dolls — She was definitely the pastor. She would have her dolls preach. Sacraments were her specialty with cookies and juice, and she’d go get water and fling it all over doing baptisms and say things like “I’m going to a meeting.” I don’t remember food pantries!

  2. A really important question. I’m not sure what to make of this but one year when my mother was too sick to do the Ash Wednesday service with my dad (co-pastors) I stayed home, created a construction paper bulletin, put in a VHS of a previous year’s service, lit candles and imposed “ashes” (dirt? ink? something seriously questionable??) on her forehead. From twenty years later, I feel like it was as much about the ritual as it was about serving the person I saw as my primary server.

  3. Pingback: When Children Play Church | achurchforstarvingartists | Church Ministry

  4. My nieces, when six and four, conducted a solemn funeral for a dead hermit crab, with fervent prayers for the soul of the deceased. If you reach heaven and find a hermit crab scuttling about the streets of gold, you may have them to thank.

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