group of smiling children

by Yancy

So many memories start flooding my mind instantly taking me back in time. From shopping centers to after-school ballet classes, the house we lived in, clothes I wore and so much more. Memories of rides around town in my Mom’s minivan singing along to the Hosanna! Praise cassettes I do believe were a daily occurrence in my childhood. Even now I can read a scripture, hear a Pastor preach a message or have a conversation with a friend and one of the choruses from the tapes in Mom’s minivan will play on the radio of my mind. The power of music is an amazing thing in how it sticks with you. All it takes is for something to trigger it and a song you haven’t been listening to or even thinking about instantly starts replaying. Even better, you can sing along to every word. It’s almost as if time stands still in the jukebox inside of you.

When we sing songs that are full of God’s word in our classrooms we are planting those truths deep down in kids hearts and spirits. When the day comes that they need to be reminded of those truths whether it’s next week, in five years or even twenty years from now the lyrics and melodies of those songs can and will come back to them. Truthfully this is what motivates me in leading worship for kids. I’m not leading them in worship just for today. I’m leading them to disciple them in what I hope will be a life of worship for all their years: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Worship isn’t about if you’re single or married, have plenty or are in need. It’s for the happy, broken, bullied, healthy and sick. It’s for the good days, bad days, and the really hard days. Whether you’re in a sanctuary or a minivan, alone or in a crowd.

I’m leading them now with the end in mind. When they are faced with a hard decision or a big life-altering moment I want them to lean in to one of the ways they can communicate to the Lord and that is worship. Imagine if we raised up a generation that learned to run and draw close to the Lord when life gets rough rather than run away from Him. Instead of blaming God for the behavior of His people, rest in His promises knowing He is always good, even when His people aren’t. Luke 6:45 says: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (NIV) This is why the songs we sing are so important. The message in them matters. Don’t limit your children’s worship to only fun, silly songs with a shallow message. Find songs, that are the right bite-size piece for that age group, that celebrate and magnify God’s greatness and His presence in our lives.

There was recently a cartoon movie about singing animals called “Sing”. (They had me at a singing pig! How incredible!) In the movie “Sing” they said, “Your song is your weapon.” Think about your family, church and the songs you sing. I challenge you with this question: what weapon are you sending forth by the songs you sing?I’ll be honest, I grew up in some am

azing churches with some great teaching. I had incredible parents who happened to be in the ministry but more importantly cultivated a love for Jesus in me the other days of the week besides Sunday. I am confident that one of the ways my heart was guided, always pointing to the Lord and His Word was through the music we sang.

Have you ever experienced a group of kids singing in worship? It is truly one of the sweetest things you’ll ever see and hear. Many times over I have been brought to tears watching a group of kids worship with such sincerity and passion. Truthfully most adults have a lot about worship they could learn from how kids worship. Mark 10:15 says: ‘Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” (NIV) Children dive all in. You can see it on their faces and sense the tenderness of their heart. They worship without abandon, unrestricted, and unaware of what some might say. These kids are simply doing something that they were created to do. It’s not a task or a specific step in Christianity 101. It’s not even about the latest technology or CCLI top 10 chart. Children draw near to their Creator in worship. The one who numbered their days and counts every hair upon their head. We are all God’s children. Whether young or old, child or adult, we can all use worship as a way to draw close to our Heavenly Father. There is something beautiful about the relationship of a parent and child. I’ve never heard of a Christian parent who didn’t say becoming a parent opened their eyes to just how great God’s love for them is. And often how great the sacrifices their parents made on their behalf. The beauty of worship is being in our Father’s arms, expressing our love, adoration and thanks for every good and perfect thing. Just like a child extends their arm to their parent to be picked up. As we extend our hands in worship it’s a similar expression and result.

Think about how your church can lead kids to develop a love to worship. Kids are by far the easiest group to lead in worship. It’s in them to worship just like it’s in any child to love and be near their parent. The beauty of worship is that we can find our hiding place and our sense of belonging in His presence. Imagine the future if this generation we are leading learned this truth by experiencing it firsthand in our times of worship.