My husband and I are the children’s pastors at a local church in Tulsa, OK. It’s not a huge church, but it’s full of great people who love God and people. It is such an honor to serve the kids and their families on a weekly basis.
About 6 years ago we made a radical decision. At least in our part of the world it seemed radical. We had a lovely woman who used to lead worship for our kiddos in their weekly service. She moved away to use her gifts on the mission field. When she left there was a large hole. Who would lead worship for our kids?
It was not going to be me. Sure, I sing in the car and in the shower. However, leading people in worship is not my gift. I’m great at administration, singing not so much.
We wondered what would happen if the kids in our church attended worship with the adults? Would they be bored? Would they be engaged? Would parents freak out? Would they be too loud? Would they love it? We decided to give it a try. The kids still get dropped off in their classes each week, but then their teachers take them to worship.
You might be thinking this does not seem radical at all. But for our church it was. Our kids spend so much time separated by peer groups. They don’t always get to observe those older than them. By bringing our kids into worship they are singing the same songs their parents, grandparents, and older siblings are singing. They are witnessing those older than them worship. They see their parents raise their hands. They see people they know and respect clapping, singing, dancing, and weeping. They gain a bigger picture of worship than they would get surrounded only by their peers.
Our youngest son will be 8 next month. If you saw him in worship you might not know he was engaged. He’s not raising his hands and some times he doesn’t even sing the words. But hear me – he is engaged. We know because when we get home on Sunday, ALL DAY he walks around humming the songs we sang in church. He might not know all of the words to each song, but he knows the music. It stirs his soul. It sticks with him all week.
Our nieces came over yesterday. We all go to church together. You know what happened? Yep! All four kids were walking around and singing “Can’t Stop Singing” from Covenant Worship. “Your grace for me will always be more than enough. The power of Jesus Christ in me is more than enough.”
What great words for their hearts, and ours, to mull over all week!!