Children's agency in worship

L.C. van Leersum-Bekebrede, P.M. Sonnenberg, A. de Kock, M. Barnard

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Children help create and shape their social worlds, including that of
worship. This article explores how children negotiate and appropriate worship
practices and incorporate their own values, understandings and creative ideas
into their worship. This analysis of children’s agency relies on qualitative data
drawn from direct observation of Dutch Protestant worship services designed for
and/or attended by children. Recognising that children have agency in worship
encourages practitioners and practical theologians to identify how children already
help shape the worship they take part in and enhance opportunities to
strengthen their agency and influence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-209
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Practical Theology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • agency, worship, practical theology, children’s theology, qualitative research

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