Teaching Children to Give God Praise – Part 1
There are few moments in Children’s Ministry more precious than being a witness to a group of children who have tapped into true worship in the presence of God.
Jesus points out in Psalm 8:2 that children who are taught to give praise to God make it possible to silence those who oppose Him.
Psalm 8:2 - The Message (MSG)
2 Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs. That drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble.
Jesus shows us that when children are taught to praise God, it drowns out the enemy’s lies and silences the lies of the atheist.
When we teach children to praise and worship God and lead them into His presence, God inhabits those praises (Psalm 22:3). This allows the Holy Spirit the opportunity to minister to them in ways that no human would ever be able to. When all opposition is removed and the enemy is silenced from distracting them and lying to them, God can speak their hearts and bring healing and truth to them in a way that no human using an object lesson, skit, or showing a video could ever hope to reach them. Don’t miss read me… object lessons, skits, and videos have their place and plant seeds of truth in kids hearts, from which the Holy Spirit can minister to them through. But in the end, we simply plant and water seeds. God is the one who gives life to that seed and brings true change in their hearts. This is why it is very important that we teach kids how to enter into the Holy of Holy’s and allow Him to speak truth into their hearts and minister to them.
So how do you lead a group of rambunctious children into the presence of God?
I believe 6 key principles need to be in place in order for it to be possible.
- Gain an understanding of the importance of Praise and Worship.
- Lead by example.
- Keep it simple.
- Always remember that they are still children.
- Let God be God and don’t get in the way.
- Never, ever, give up!
In this article we will take a look at the first two principles.
1. Gaining an understanding of the importance of Praise and Worship
It is vital that you believe that praise and worship is important and will make a difference in your life. You cannot effective teach what your heart does not support and embrace.
If you see praise and worship simply as an activity that helps get the wiggles out and takes up time during service then you’ve missed the whole point. When you truly understand the purpose of Praise and Worship and the vital role it plays in your walk with the Lord, then you will be able to effectively lead children in it.
I urge you to take some time to study what the Bible says about praise and worship and what part it plays in the life a follower of Jesus Christ. There are some good resources available on this subject.
As you study the subject of praise and worship ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to praise and worship God. He longs for the opportunity to speak truth and life into your heart too.
2. Lead by example
Make praise and worship a way of life. The more you learn about praise and worship the more you will understand the power available to you through praise and worship.
The Message (MSG)
4-5 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
In time you will find yourself lifting praises to God and offering Him worship on a daily basis. When you are faced with hard times and tough issues that are beyond your control Instead of grumbling and complaining or being anxious, which hinders you from entering into God’s presence and steals your peace and joy, you will choose to rejoice in the Lord and enter into praise and worship with your kids!
When you begin to teach kids and lead them into true praise and worship it’s important that you be comfortable with freely expressing your heart to the Lord in front of the children. This may mean that you would be willing to dance, shout, or raise your hands as you sing praises to His name or He may prompt you to kneel before Him during a time of worship with the children. All of this is scriptural and does not offend God at all. In fact I personally believe it pleases Him, when done in obedience and from a sincere heart of worship.
If you have not come to a place where you can freely do this in your own private times of worship with God then it might be hard for you to do in front of a group of children.
Sometimes it may need to be a “sacrifice of praise”. Which may mean that you choose to praise God and worship Him out of pure obedience and action believing that He will honor your “sacrifice” of putting aside your emotions and doubts, and simply trusting that He will inhabit your praise.
Hebrews 13:15 - New International Version (NIV)
15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
The more you praise and worship Him in your own quiet time the more comfortable you will become expressing your heart to Him when praising Him with a group of children.
Choosing make worshiping God a part of your everyday life will make leading by example second nature. Then be faithful to lead God’s children into His presence, then stand back and watch in awe, as God inhabits the praises of your children.
Click here to read "Teaching Children to Give God Praise - Part 2"