Helping Kids Participate In Worship
We have learned through trial and error over the years about how to teach kids to worship and how to help all of the children participate. We always need to keep in mind as leaders that God has wired us in many different ways and, therefore, we express our worship differently. Some kids (literally) jump at the opportunity to worship and love to participate in every activity on Sunday morning, while others are reserved, careful and very self-conscious.
It is important to allow each child to participate according to their own personality and wiring. That being said, we have found several factors that greatly increase participation in worship with young people.
Cast Vision For Worship
It is important to teach children that worshiping God is part of what God created them to do. We can worship God in many ways, and one of those ways is to sing songs to Him. There are so many verses in the Bible that highlight this, so find a moment at the beginning of worship to read one of those verses from the Word, like this one from Psalm 95:1-2:
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”
Encourage Participation From All Leaders
It is important to encourage all of your children’s ministry leaders to participate in worship – and to the best of their ability, join in singing and doing the hand motions (for the songs that have them). Just as there are different personality types for kids, the same applies for adults, but that being said, it makes a huge difference if your ministry leaders are engaged and having fun with the kids during worship rather than standing at the back of the room, arms crossed, sneaking looks at their phones.
Let your volunteers know that engaging with kids and taking part in the activities is one of the greatest ways they can lead and influence the children.
Recruit Youth and Young Adults To Lead Worship/Hand Motions
Our Seeds Family Worship team is made up of youth and young adults, and that is by design. Children look up to teenagers and young adults and want to be like them. When they see them genuinely participating in worship and having fun, they will feel safe and encouraged. The older kids in children’s ministry (especially the boys) are going to be much more likely to join in if they see some youth worshiping the Lord. It is also essential to teach the youth how to lead, and share with them the importance of setting a great example for the kids (1 Timothy 4:12).
If you have not tried this approach in your ministry, I highly recommend you find some youth with a heart for worship to be part of your children’s ministry worship team. Equip them and call them into the significant role as a kid’s worship leader.
Pray For God To Use You As His Instruments
Our Seeds Family Worship ministry culture has three simple areas of emphasis. We are prayerful, positive and productive. We lead ministry first and foremost through prayer. Philippians 2 tells us that “it is God who works in us to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Pray with your worship team and your leaders for God’s Spirit to be at work and to lead your team.
We all know the dynamics of children’s ministry and the busyness of Sunday morning, so prayer is essential to help us tap into God’s strength, power and His agenda. We are His instruments! We want Him to use us to do what He desires to do in the lives of all of the children and parents that we are called to serve.
One Final (Musical) Note of Encouragement
I hope you will be able to implement these practical ideas into the children’s worship at your church. If you do, I truly believe you will see the fruit in the hearts of your children when they sing God’s Word.
I have one final (musical) note of encouragement from 1 Corinthians 15:57-58, which is:
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
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As you listen to this Scripture song, be confident in the truth that all you are pouring into the lives of children and parents is changing the trajectory of the next generation. The battle is real. We know it takes an incredible amount of energy to lead and teach these young people. But in the midst of the relentless week-to-week ministry demands, you have one of the greatest opportunities to impact your kids. How can you and your team make a difference in the world? Teach these children the Gospel – one day at time, one prayer at a time, and one song at a time.
This blog post, originally entitled ‘Practical Instructions For Leading Kids in Worship’ was written for Seeds Family Worship and reposted here with permission from the author.