Leading worship for kids can be a mysterious and frustrating job. Balancing the fun, jump around songs with the more meditative worshipful songs can be a bit tricky. If you go to far to the crazy side you can loose control, and if you steer to far into the slow contemplative songs it may go over the kids heads. So, I wanted to add my two cents to the conversation about leading worship for kids and how we can do that effectively. Here are three things I try to remember when leading worship through music for kids. Hope this helps!
1. Have Fun!
Kids are kids. They want to be loud and shout and jump and play. If we bring elements like that into our worship we can engage kids on their level. Sing songs that have the kids shout or jump! Have fun with them, and by doing so you gain their trust and they will follow where you lead. Don't try to stifle and quiet the energy in the room. They are kids! If we keep telling them to stop having fun during worship they may grow up with the mindset that worshiping God is not something to enjoy. I am all for structure and rules and certainly we don't want things to get out of control, but we can still celebrate with the joy of the Lord!
2. Have a plan.
Kids like structure. If we get up in front of kids without a plan in place they will disengage. We have to know what songs we are doing and how we are doing hem BEFORE we get in front of the kids so that we can keep their attention. Kids (and some adults) tend to have very short attention spans so we must try to keep the "dead time" to a minimum when we are leading. Also regarding attention spans, I have found keeping the song length shorter is better. If we are singing the same song for too long kids will tune out. We don't want them to get board!
3. Have a purpose.
So many times it seems that we are trying to entertain instead of teach. Kids are way smarter than we give them credit for and we as worship leaders need to be sure we are challenging and teaching them. Music is a wonderful tool for teaching scripture and the truths about God. If we only do songs like "Father Abraham", "Pharaoh Pharaoh" and "Baby Shark" (ok I know I'm old) what are we teaching them about our Savior? Kids will go as deep as you take them. Yes, we have to be conscious of our wording and speaking over their heads, but if we expect great things from our kids they will always rise to the occasion!
So now go! Lead on! Let's sing, play and teach kids about God's love, acceptance and forgiveness through song! et's challenge them to grow in their relationship with God and help put in place the foundation for a love of worshiping God through music!
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts and what works for you! Feel free to leave a comment here or on our FB page facebook.com/JustinGravesBand