The Bible does not say to sing only if you have a good voice. Neither does it say to sing only if you like the song. One of the biggest weapons of deception the enemy uses against us today is that he has tricked us into using one of these excuses to not sing. As I travel around the country, my heart breaks to see so many who stand in a worship time completely checked out — not opening their mouths once to sing or even speak a praise to the Lord. Singing is not a suggestion. It is a command. There are over 100 commands to sing in the Psalms alone. When we sing, something supernatural happens. Something is released — the power and joy of the Lord.
Many times when the children of Israel went into battle, singers were placed on the front lines because they knew if they faced their enemies with praise, they would win. And they did. 2 Chronicles 20:21 (NASB) shows us this principle at work:
After consulting with the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.
What a powerful lesson this passage teaches us, as well as the children we serve. When we face our battles with praise on our lips and allow the power and joy of the Lord to rise up within us, we win. What an encouraging truth. Look at the opportunities you have each week during Sunday morning worship times and choir rehearsals as more than simply chances to practice the mechanics of singing. See them as strategic times to train up worshiping warriors.
One training activity I like to use with kids is to have them come up with a word they can use to describe the Lord or something they love about Him. After they say their word, you sing it back to them. After you sing it, have all the kids echo what you sang. They may giggle or give you a funny look at first, but I’ve found that so many times while doing this, the kids will start trying to sing their words as well.
You may think, “I could never do that. I’m wouldn’t know what notes to sing for the words.” Well, start simple, even if you just pick a note and repeat it. The more you practice it, especially when you’re by yourself with the Lord, the easier it will become. There’s something really awesome that happens when you step out of the boat and get spontaneous. I’ve found this is a great way to draw the kids into participating, especially ones who may feel singing is not their thing.
It’s always good to have a plan going into your time with the kids, but it’s also good to plan to let go. Don’t be afraid to lay down your agenda and see what the Holy Spirit may reveal during an intimate, free-flowing worship time.