The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Youth wants to be a lector

Involvement might spark a renewed sense of intergenerational worship

Q: My daughter, a fourth-grader, wants to be a lector. All of our readers are adults, but more than half of our congregation is made up of children and youth. How should I pursue this idea at my church?

A: There's no rule or reason why children and youth can't serve as lectors.

They're as much a part of the family of God and the worship life of the church as adults.

Talk to your child's Sunday school teacher about your daughter's desire to be part of worship, and bring the idea to the lector leader or pastor.

designpicsChances are good that you'll get a welcome reception.

And perhaps your child's involvement will help spark a renewed sense of intergenerational worship (and leadership) within the life of your congregation.




Posted at 12:04 pm (U.S. Eastern) 11/1/2010

Good discussion.  I would welcome a 4th grade lector.  It shows involvement, which is one of the goals of the whole confirming process.... to help one feel integrated into the life of the community.

Mary Shaima

Mary Shaima

Posted at 4:56 pm (U.S. Eastern) 11/3/2010

Really, the only criterion one should use for a lector is that they speak the Word clearly so all can hear.  Our lectors come from all age groups, and serve throughout the year (not just on youth-oriented days).  With the right training and encouragement, young people will do a great job - and know that they really do belong.

Also, when our hearing-impaired young lady is lector, her mother reads aloud and she signs the lessons.  It's a visual that not many people get to see very often, and it brings a new dimension to the Word.

John Dornheim

John Dornheim

Posted at 11:27 am (U.S. Eastern) 11/11/2010

The question is whether or not you feel that she is ready. As her parent, I think that you would best be able to determine that.

Jonathan Trost

Jonathan Trost

Posted at 9:50 am (U.S. Eastern) 11/30/2010

There's no question but that children should be permitted and encouraged to serve as worship assistants. However, if they do so as lector, their parents have a responsibility that goes with it, too.  That is to assure the child's having practiced the readings before The Service, and knowing the pronunciation of the words. It isn't "cute" to watch and listen to a child "stumble".

For many children (and adults), reading in public can be difficult and even intimidating. Some children feel more comfortable serving as crucifer or an acolyte. And, that's to be encouraged, too.

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February issue


Embracing diversity