Have you ever experienced a group of kids worshipping? I mean really worshipping: eyes closed, hands lifted, voices singing loud and strong. I truly believe it is one of the sweetest sounds you could ever hear in this whole world. I know on many occasions I have been moved to tears and taken back by the purity, sweetness and honor that shines in those precious moments. I might be the one leading a group of kids in worship but when that special thing happens when creation worships the Creator- I stand there reminded of the greatness of our God. There are a lot of lessons that we as adults can learn from a group of kids worshipping. An example of childlike faith perfectly demonstrated. God created us to worship Him and from what I’ve found it’s a pretty natural and easy thing for kids to worship. Kids are by far the easiest age group to lead in worship. They are much easier to lead than any middle aged man in big church or the hardest of hearts in your congregation. I treasure a picture I have of my one and half year old son taking part in worship during a summer camp where I was helping lead worship. At that point, he hadn’t been taught how to do it. He had not gone to a “baby worship school”. It is just naturally in us to worship the One who made us and knows every detail of our lives. I came across a verse that transformed how I look at kids worship. It’s not just singing songs, it’s filled with power.
Take a look at Psalm 8:1-2. God, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs That drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. (MSG)
From the youngest nursery class to the oldest preteen you minister to. Their praises are power filled and can make someone who doesn’t even believe in God, change their mind and believe our God is real. Think about that for a minute. That is powerful. Kids worshipping God is a powerful thing. It’s time to stop neglecting that kind of power from going forth in our ministry each week.
There are many things that our kids will experience in the various classrooms and programs of your church throughout their childhood. There are many lessons, bible verses and themes that will be repeated. And yes, it’s important kids learn about loving one another, missions, obeying their parents, and amazing stories like Noah, David and what Jesus did on the cross for us. Just like those important lessons that no doubt will get taught, if we want to end up with teenagers and adults that know how to worship the Jesus they are living for then we must give kids an opportunity to worship now. You might say, oh we do that in our classes already. Really? Do you give kids an opportunity to have praise and worship each week in their class? Are you intentional with the time? Do you just sing silly songs that are activity based? What have you taught them about why you worship, why you sing, clap or even lift your hands? Are they expected to be reverent and behave a certain way during this time? Or is it a free for all, anything goes, twelve-fifteen minute time killer that looks like a tornado touching down?
I’m not trying to be hard or harsh in my questions. I am however passionate about kids learning that they can worship, now! God delights in our praises. Psalm 92:1-2 says: Lord, it is good to praise you. Most High God, it is good to make music to honor you. It is good to sing every morning about your love. It is good to sing every night about how faithful you are. (NIrV)
Think through the songs you sing and why you’re doing them. They are more than just slots to fill on your planning sheet for the day. It’s more than just a music time or a way to fill up minutes of the time that you have “watching” the kids. In my experiences of travelling and talking to leaders from all over I realize that we have a lot of work to do in this area. Very few churches I’ve found are being intentional about giving kids an opportunity to worship and teaching them how to do it. I am burdened to shine a spotlight on this subject and help leaders take some steps to transform from just singing silly songs to having a fun, engaging, time that honors and lifts high the name of the Lord. Did you notice I said, “take some steps”. I sure hope so, because it’s not a one size fits all remedy where you’re going to do a couple new things this week and completely change the attitude and landscape of what worship is for your kids. It will take steps, time, and diligence. It may be a process (especially the older the child is) but, I can promise you, if you will take those steps, invest some time and be diligent, you will see a transformation. What worship looks like in your Kidmin three, six, nine and twelve months from now can be a totally different thing from where you are today.
Questions to ask yourself to evaluate the relevancy of what your currently doing:
- What does your music sound like?
- Who do you have on stage leading worship?
- Do your leaders look like they like to worship?
- How have you taught kids about worship?
- On a scale of one to ten how well do the kids participate?
Questions to ask yourself for where you want to go:
- What do you want to see accomplished in the hearts of your kids in regards to worship?
- Define that for each classroom/age group in your ministry.
- How can each class build upon the next?
- What are ways, each week, you can teach why and how we worship?
Learn more about Yancy and her KidMin media at WorshipHouse Kids.