Kids worship is like a journey to get kids connected to God. Here is an onramp, plus some potholes for the journey.
To get on the onramp to worship, follow this map with your kids:
- Unwrap their bodies – get their attention by directing some of their energy. Channel their physical energy first, so that you’ve addressed that developmental need. They NEED to be physical, so rock ’em out in whatever manner is appropriate to the worship style of your church.
- Unwrap their mind – introduce songs that engage their mind. Subject matter and theology should be as big as the world around your kids. Songs that quote scripture are great; and even selected “adult” and youth worship songs can work, too. For the littlest kids, their world is what happens inside the four walls that they are in at the moment. Older kids grasp a larger world that starts with relationships in the room, and extends out in circles of understanding.
- Unwrap their heart – After they’ve satisfied the need to move, and have had a chance to think about who God is, they are ready to respond with their hearts. This is often a slower, more focused song that prepares them to receive a message or ready for prayer. It’s not required to be slow, but that works well in most settings.
Potholes to avoid on your way:
Worship doesn’t have to be a certain length of time. Worship doesn’t have any quantifying requirements, other than to connect with God. How long, loud, and how deep is that? Those measurements don’t apply.
Don’t set artificial goals that are unrelated to worship. For example, don’t try to make worship an event. Start small, grow it comfortably, and build over time.
Keep worship time as worship time, and teaching time as teaching time. Don’t make the mistake that, because your lesson is on the Plagues of Egypt, you need to sing a worship song about locusts and sores. That’s not worship, that’s teaching. Do “The Plagues of Egypt” song during the lesson, and not during worship.
Remember: Teaching and worship are two different things. Teaching is the act of pouring information into people. Worshiping is the act of pouring our love and praise into the arms of God. Don’t confuse the two, just because they can both use music.
Experience the change that comes by connecting kids to God in worship. Let’s raise a generation worshipers!
Bob Singleton is President of God’s Kids Worship® at http://www.godskidsworship.com, which has just introduced a new line of DVDs, the “Simple Worship Series,” for kids ministry. He’s also a Grammy–nominated, and 4 time Dove–nominated composer & producer who has worked in kids ministry since his first daughter turned 2 years old.