Engaging Kids in Worship
My church recently began having family worship services twice a month on Sunday nights. The goal is to incorporate all ages in worship. One of the ways we do this is by providing the children with instruments to play while singing. I was next to one very rambunctious three year old boy this past week whose mom is on the praise team. He loved the first song and was so excited about the worship. As the song ended, he shouted loud enough for almost everyone to hear, “Good job with singing Mommy!” It brought a smile to all of our faces. Not only had he been given the opportunity to worship God through song, but He had the privilege of being led into worship by his mom. As children’s ministers, we also have the privilege of leading kids into the worship of their God.
We know that it is biblical for children to experience true worship. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, children were active participants in worship. Moses, Jehoshophat, and Nehemiah all invited children to be part of worshiping the Lord. (Exodus 10:8,9; 2 Chronicles 10:13, 18; Nehemiah 12:43) Jesus himself accepted the worship of children. When the children saw Jesus healing the blind and the crippled in the Temple, they began to shout praises, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” This made the rulers of the Temple angry. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked Jesus. “Yes,” Jesus answered. “Haven’t you read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
We often think of worship as being a time of singing in church. While this is certainly an important part of our worship, we can also teach children that worship is anything we do to show God that we know who He is and what He has done. We can worship with words by singing and saying words of praise. We can also worship with our actions by reading the Bible, praying, and obeying Him. As children begin to understand the different ways of worshiping God, they learn that worship is both a lifestyle and an experience. We live our lives in worship (Romans 12:1,) and we also experience specific times of worship, such as singing and praising God in church.
Ideas You Can Use
Learning Activity: “What is Worship?”
Make a large worship chart by writing the word “worship” at the top of the paper and including the following definition: Worship is what you do to show God that you know who He is and what He has done. Under the definition, divide the paper into two columns, “Who is God?” and “What has God done?”
Worship Using the Word of God
Use the Word to show children who God is, provide examples of worshippers, help children define right attitudes of worship, define worship, and invite children to worship.
Worship through Singing, Movement, and Instruments
Praise and worship is a wonderful opportunity to engage every part of the child— body (movement), mind (singing) and spirit (feelings of joy, sensing the presence of our God as the child focuses on who God is).
Worship Through Prayer
Prayer is an important act of worship. Encourage your children to participate in prayer by planning creative, interactive prayer activities.
Worship Through Giving
Giving is another way we can worship God with our actions. Vary the ways you invite children to give so that giving doesn’t become a habit but continues to be a true act of worship.
Make and use a praise cube to help children understand different ways they can worship God.