How to Engage Kids in Grown-Up Worship Without A Live Band or Lots of Volunteers & Prep
Have you ever questioned whether motion-driven worship for kids is the best way to do worship in your Kid’s Church?
Is it possible that engaging kids in worship the same way as the teen and adult services is the best way to set elementary students up for successful transitions into those phases?
At the church where I serve, we decided to do an experiment.
We would start doing worship in a similar style to our youth group and adult services and see how it went.
And the result was fantastic; it’s totally awesome seeing our kids engage in “adult-style” worship to the point that we couldn’t imagine ever going back.
Here’s what it looks like.
Step 1: Teach Kids What Worship Is
We describe worship as praying through song.
You may have a different definition, but keep it simple, so every kid can understand the purpose.
Next, we talk about different ways of worshipping: such as standing and singing along, putting your hands in the air, sitting quietly and listening to the words, standing quietly and listening to words.
We don’t prescribe only 1 way that kids can or should worship, we leave it up to them.
It also helps guests feel comfortable.
Letting kids know there’s different ways to worship, takes the pressure off guests who may have no idea what worship is and don’t want to participate; they can simply sit and listen without feeling awkward or pressured into doing something they don’t want to.
Step 2: Pick a Live Worship Video over a Lyric Video
Live worship is ideal, but if you’re like our church, that might not be realistic week in and week out.
So pick live worship videos.
They beat lyric videos every time because even the video is modeling worship for the kids.
Many times it’s possible to find live worship videos that also have the lyrics, which of course is the best case scenario.
Step 3: Use the Same Songs Throughout Each Month
Using the same 2-3 songs throughout each month will enable kids to get comfortable with them (even if the words aren’t displayed).
And the more kids know the songs, the more they’ll not just listen but also engage.
Step 4: Have Volunteers Model Worship in Front of The Kids and Beside the Kids
We normally have 2 people up on stage who simply sing along without mics and model authentic worship in front of the kids.
And the rest of our leaders stand among the kids and worship just like they would in the adult service.
So when kids look up front, they see worship modeled; when they look around them, they see worship modeled; and when they watch the video, they see worship modeled.
Step 5: Commit to 1-2 Months Before Making a Decision to Continue or Not
The first couple Sundays, a lot of kids just kind of stood there, not really engaging.
But as worship was modeled all around them in successive weeks; the atmosphere began to change.
Kids started standing, singing along, raising their hands.
Other kids sat and listened, but you could tell they were engaged.
It was an awesome sight, and it didn’t take a live band, lots of volunteers, or lots of time to make the change.
Have any questions about the steps or our church’s experience? Leave a comment.
And if this was helpful to you, please share on FB to get the word out to others!