I talked to Yancy, our kids’ worship leader, about worship and the huge role it plays in what we do. We often talk about curriculum and what we teach, as we should, but I’m not sure if we discuss the importance of teaching our kids how to enter into worship. Here is what we do and why we do it.
1. Opening song – We always start with a high-energy song that is usually just fun and doesn’t necessarily talk about God but gets kids moving and focused.
2. We take a few minutes to explain what are some of the ways we can praise God. What does the Bible says about what praise and worship is and why we do it.
3. 2-3 “Faster” worship songs – Our goal here is to help the kids have fun and still teach kids theology and prepare them to worship. We always try to pick songs that match songs that the Youth ministry does and Adult ministry does. I believe it’s important that even though our environments are different that the songs we sing are speaking the same thing.
4. 1-2 worship songs – Our goal here is to teach kids to connect to God themselves. Every song we sing leads to this point where kids can connect with Christ and learn the value of worship in their daily life. We want to lead kids to a transcendent moment where God can move on their hearts.
5. We close in either general prayer for the service or specific prayer for what we feel God wanting us to pray for, healing, strength, courage etc…we try to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Here are a few practical tips I constantly remind every worship leader in our kids ministry.
1. Smile – You don’t want to convey worship is painful (actually, the kids’ pastor before me used to use worship as a punishment. “If you don’t stop talking, we are going to worship for 5 more minutes.” I kid you not.)
2. Sing – Even if your voice isn’t that stellar, having a vocal focal point helps kids enter in.
3. Make eye contact – When you are leading kids in small group, worship, or large group, eye contact is huge. Eye contact is the time-out chair of the soul. When kids are messing around, eye contact does wonders, believe me. If you don’t believe me, ask a mother.
4. Make it personal – Share a Scripture or something God is speaking to you this week – Kids learn by example. Be an example.
5. Teach kids – Having kids in a kids’ ministry setting is a huge advantage. We can break down what we do and why we do it, something that will never happen in “Big Church” We need to take advantage of this opportunity to teach them the heart of worship.
6. Be a worshiper yourself – The best way to teach kids to worship is to show them how to worship with your life.