I believe an active mission of every church should be to help believers become who God created them to be. One of the things that God created all of us to be is a worshipper.
Worshipping God is one of our greatest purposes. Although a lot of churches check the box of worship off the list each week, I feel there is still a lot left to be desired in how we are leading others to encounter the presence of Jesus during our times of worship when they gather. I have a burden to help teach this generation so they can understand why we worship God and what that looks like in their life.
I know that many of you who are reading this are involved in adult worship. I want to invite you to think about how your church is raising Christ followers up to be the worshippers that God intends for them to be. As a young child, preteen or student, how are they experiencing God’s presence and growing in their expression of worship?
One thing I’ve noticed when ministries work as silos, as opposed to with a strategy and mission, is that worship happens all over the map. You could have one age group that has great worship where people are engaged and then another age group that has weak leadership and let’s be honest, a major disconnect. Worship is happening at various speeds and levels of intentionality because there’s no overall vision of the house for worship.
Because of your role and position in your church I want to invite you as Worship Leader/Pastor/Director to start a conversation with your children’s and student ministry leaders. Go to lunch or grab a coffee and start dreaming about what worship can look like for your church. This could be the beginning of an ongoing relationship and solution in which you can all dream and work together to raise up worshippers within your church.
Have you ever stopped to think about what kind of worshipper you want adults in your congregation to be? One of the ways you can accomplish seeing that vision come to pass is by starting the process in the preschool ministry of your church, and then building upon that foundation in the elementary ministry. It doesn’t end there, the roots can grow deeper as a preteen and middle schooler and the impact spans even greater as a high school student. A wise friend of mine once shared with me: “Teaching kids to worship is not the issue. They know how to worship. Directing their worship to Jesus is the issue. Help them put God first.”
I believe over the span of one generation you can completely change the way that worship is cultivated within the life of your congregation. The possibility of results of this effort is to have men and women that understand that worship is a communication tool in responding to God.
What a win! I want to cultivate in the hearts of God’s people that there is safety in His presence. Imagine what this world could be like if we learned to run TO God with whatever we face as opposed to running FROM Him while we try to handle things alone. I believe the Word is true if you will give people an opportunity to experience God’s presence it will be something that they taste and want more of. Psalm 34:8 says: “Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” (NIV)
So, you might wonder where to begin. Start with the end in mind. What kind of adult worshippers do you want to have? And then begin to work backward to define and develop what the goal needs to be for each age group and classroom within your church. You have 936 Sundays in the life of a young person. That’s over 900 opportunities, as you gather, to help kids fall in love with Jesus through worship.
Help toddlers and preschoolers gather to WORSHIP.
Help elementary kids gather to WORSHIP.
Help preteens gather to WORSHIP.
Help middle school gather to WORSHIP.
Help high schoolers gather to WORSHIP.
Help Adults gather to WORSHIP.
As you define your vision and determine what you want kids to learn about worship when you gather, be sure to communicate that to the leaders and teachers working in those classes. This helps set the bar of what they are aiming to do with the songs that they lead and the words they share. It gives them a container of sorts within which they should work. It determines the purpose of the kind of songs they should be doing and the type of engagement they should be observing. Help those leaders understand the importance of teaching kids what worship looks like in their life. How do they do it? Why is it important? These are all things that they can point to and underline as they plan the words that are shared each and every week as they lead.
This process could also lead to building a team that can serve in multiple settings. There could be positions and rooms where you develop musicians and worship leaders to serve your church for years to come. (Think “farm club” system.)
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness. Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. Psalm 145:3&4 (NLT)
Worship happening in another room isn’t a competition to what you do in adult worship. For every age, worshipping God is a key part of why we gather as well as our personal walk with Christ. As you begin this conversation and develop a relationship with these other leaders in your church I believe what you can accomplish together will be far greater than what you can each do on your own. Developing a vision for worship at every age level is a worthy and important task. I can’t wait to see the harvest that comes from the seeds you plant.