Children are invited to clap or use a noisemaker every time they hear the word ‘welcome” or every time someone makes someone else feel welcome in the story you tell. Tell a story you have personalized (based on the sample here) about coming to your church on Sunday. Welcoming is important work in God’s church. God welcomes us all and wants us to show that kind of welcome to everyone.  


Welcoming; being kind and loving to others


Bring plastic “clapper” noisemakers for each child, a pitcher of cold water, small paper cups, and the story below which you have personalized beforehand for your church situation.

What to do and say:

After welcoming the children, offer each one a cup of cold water. Then pass out the noisemakers and explain that they are invited to clap or use the noisemaker every time they hear the word ‘welcome” or every time someone makes someone else feel welcome in the story you’re going to tell.   When you personalize the story, use the children in the group as characters in the story. Incorporate all the welcoming things that happened in your congregation that day—the greeters at the door, the pastor welcoming visitors, and the liturgist telling people to share signs of God’s peace, as well as the welcome you extended and the cups of water.  

  • Welcoming words or actions in the story are underlined.

  • Places to personalize the story are italicized.

A Welcoming story

Welcome to the Children’s Time! I’m so glad you are here today.

Boy, it is really hot today. Wouldn’t a nice cool drink of water be great right now? Here, have a drink!    Today we are going to talk about welcoming. I am going to tell you a story and every time you hear someone say the word welcome or do something to make someone feel welcome, I want you to use this clapper to make a “welcoming noise”.  Ready?  Listen for the “welcome spots” and make a noise when you hear one. 

One Sunday morning, (name a child present that day who will be the main character in this story) and their family came to church at (name of your church).

As they walked down the sidewalk towards the church they saw (name a member of your church) who waved at them and said, “Hi, it’s good to see you at church today.” 

They walked into the church and there was (name of your pastor). S/he had a big smile on her/his face and called each person in your family by name and said, “What a beautiful day!  I’m glad you are here!” 

(Name of main character child) went into the sanctuary—the place where we worship. (name of greeter or usher) was right there where s/he usually is each Sunday.  S/he said, “Good Morning! Here are your nametags and here is a bulletin.  And (Name of main character child) here is a children’s bulletin for you, too.”  S/he pointed to the basket on the floor and said, “Don’t forget to get a fan, it is warm in here today.”

(Name of main character child) went over and found a place to sit right where their family usually sits each Sunday.

Then (name of main character child) looked up and saw (name a friend of main character child) coming in the door (main character child) ran over to (friend) and gave them a hug and said, “It’s good to see you. You’re my friend!” Then they sat down and began to look at the children’s bulletin together.  

[Note: Make this part of the story mirror what is usually said and done in your church]

Soon it was time for church to begin.  (Name of person who gives the welcome) got up and went to the microphone and said. Welcome to (name of your church). My name is ___ and I am today’s liturgist.  After church today everyone is invited to come downstairs for refreshments.”

Then everyone sang a song.  (Name of scripture reader) got up and read some verses from the bible.  Then (name of another scripture reader if more than one) also got up and read some verses from the bible.  Here is some of what s/he read:

Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me, welcomes the one who sent me.  Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, not of these will lose their reward.”

Then (name of person leading the children’s sermon) came to the front and invited all the children to come forward for the Children’s Story.  When everyone was seated, s/he said, “Welcome to the Children’s Time!  I’m so glad you are here today!”  Then s/he gave everyone a cool drink of water.



Wow, there was a lot of welcoming in that story, wasn’t there. I counted about (number)words or acts of welcoming !  

Feeling welcomed is an important part of being a Christian.  Jesus told his disciples that whenever someone welcomed them, it was just as if Jesus himself was being welcomed.  Another time Jesus said–anytime we are good or kind to others, we were being good and kind to him as well.  Our welcoming, loving, caring ways can have a good influence on others. When we know people are glad to have us around or are pleased by something we did for them, it makes us feel good, too. 

Happiness and joy are catching. 

So are welcoming, kindness, and love.

So today I want to remind us all to be welcoming and loving to those around us each day.  And here’s a challenge—to be welcoming and loving even when we might be feeling hot or tired or crabby—ooh, that’s not so easy to do !! 

When we are loving and welcoming to others, we are showing God’s love.  

PRAYER   (Say each line and ask children repeat it.)
Thank you God for welcoming each of us.
Thank you for Jesus who taught us how to be welcoming.
Help us to remember to be welcoming and loving to everyone we meet.

Would anyone like another cup of water before you go?

Contributed by Melany Burrill

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