Teaching Our Kids to be Worshipers
As parents, we need to have values for our families that we are instilling in our children. Without defining values you will never know what is important and what is not. And let’s face it, every parent needs to know what hill they are willing to die on, because our children will test everything.
One of the values every parent who follows Christ should be trying to instill in their children is worship. Often, people of think worship as merely singing. Singing can be worship, and is a great place to start, but worship is so much more. I write a lot about worship, so I won’t go into a lot about what worship is, but so that we are on the same page, let me quickly define it for us. Hopefully, this will help us as we define worship for our children.
What is worship?
Worship simply means to “ascribe worth unto” – whatever it is that you value most highly. Jesus says that he is searching for those who “Worship in Spirit and in Truth.” (John 4:19-24). This simply means that we worship God from the deepest part of who we are and we are honest and sincere in our worship (this is a great way to define worship for our children).
I’ve heard this quote attributed to Louie Giglio regarding worship: “Worship is our response, both personal and corporate, to God for who He is, and what He has done; expressed in and by the things we say and the way we live.” There are a lot of ways to respond to God. Some ways include singing, but other ways include obeying, loving others more than yourself, and looking after the widows and the orphans (those who cannot look after themselves).
Why should we be worshipers of God?
Books have been written on this subject, so I cannot give exhaustive answers in these few paragraphs, but here are a few reasons that are great for your children and you.
- Psalms 115 4-8 says we become like the god we worship. If we worship money, work, celebrities or anything along that path, we will begin to look like that. Our values will be shaped around what we worship and our attitudes will reflect it. However, if we worship Jesus, we will begin to reflect His character, love and compassion to our families and those around us.
- As we worship, so will our kids. The Old Testament is filled with examples of children following in the footsteps of their parents. If you read through 1 & 2 Kings alone you will read story after story of an example being set by a father and an example being followed by a child.
So how do kids worship?
Teach Your kids this phase “Worship God with ALL we have, wherever we go.” It’s a very simple way of helping them understand what the real meaning of worship is. Below are a few thoughts on how kids worship that will be helpful to keep in mind as you teach your kids your value for being a worshiper:
- It starts with being thankful, and comes out in how they treat God and others.
- Worship God from deep inside – with all of our heart
- Worship God with our brains – with all of our mind
- Worship God with our bodies – with all of our strength
- In the classroom with how hard they work, and the attitude they have.
- With their friends & family — that they put GOD first and not themselves.
- When they have a chance to completely focus on Him in church
- Simplicity/humility — there’s something uncomplicated about the faith of a child. It’s awesome to see. Don’t overcomplicate worship for them.
- With their bodies. Hand motions are a good way to help kids understand how to worship with our bodies. It’s also a great way to introduce the idea of lifting hands in worship. There are some great videos on youtube if you need some ideas.
- With their voices. I’ve led worship for kids for years. They really enjoy energetic songs, using hand motions. However, they also can understand what it means to be serious — to close their eyes and focus on God in our group worship times.
How can we teach kids to worship?
In explaining that worship is not just singing, I don’t want to understate the value of our singing to God. It is a great way to help kids learn about God — his character and love — as well as how to surrender their hearts to Him. Here are a few things I’ve learn from leading kids in worship that may help you:
- Have them give a testimony. Testimonies help tie together the things God has done in our lives to why we worship Him. Having the kids give testimonies and helping to connect the dots with them can help them see why we worship God.
- Find some fun, current songs.
- Find songs that talk about Might, Power, Love. Songs like This Is Amazing Grace (Wickham), Your Love Never Fails (Jesus Culture), Our God (Tomlin), and Whom Shall I Fear (Tomlin) all have subject matter that kids can relate to.
- As a leader, you will probably have to teach kids the difference between being silly and being serious in our expression. This can be a great teaching moment for the kids.
- Memorize scripture — Joshua 1:8
- Exposing your kids to worship music. I’m amazed at how well kids remember lyrics. As those lyrics become ingrained in them, you will notice a difference.
- Find teachable moments to reinforce worship and reflect Christ’s love and compassion.
These are some of the things I’ve learned about teaching and leading kids in worship. Share what you’ve learned in the comments below.
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