Teaching Children to Give God Praise – Part 2
This article is the second in a series of 3 articles that lay out 6 key principles that will help you lead Kids into the presence of God through praise and worship. In this article you will understand the importance of keeping it simple and what to keep in mind as you teach kids to praise and worship God.
it's important that we teach kids that praise and worship is not just about having fun singing songs and goofing off and dancing. When done from your heart to God.. It’s very powerful. It can bring about change in your life.
3. Keep it simple
Before leading kids in praise I will do a short and simple teaching on what praise is. I may say something like:
You are entering “God’s Space” and He is all ears when you are there. He’s been waiting for you and you have his full attention.
Praising Him is simply show thankfulness for who he is and expressing your joy for who you are because of Jesus and what he has done for you.
I will also include a short and simple teaching on what worship is. I may say something like:
Connect to Him – make it personal… forget everyone else around you & what they think… focus on Him. This is why He made you, for this moment right here. If you need to clear up some sin, take care of it now.
Once kids enter into God’s presence I may share the following:
Let’s take some time to worship God and show Him how much we love Him. Express your heart and love for Him and who He is to you. Do this anyway your heart tells you too. This… is pure worship.
Talk to God from your heart about areas of your life you need help in, give them to Him. (during this time we play a song that helps them focus on God and connects their hearts to God.)
Take some time to worship… and love on God and let Him love on you.
When choosing songs for praise and worshipI choose 5 songs, 3 praise and 2 worship, with simple words that kids will understand and music that they will enjoy and can follow. I will teach one or two songs at a time. When learning a new song we will sing it through once with a power point or slide presentation for that song that includes the words. Then we will sing it through once with no actions. After that we will sing it one more time introducing some simple actions. Once kids know all 5 songs we will repeat those 5 songs over 3 months, alternating them for variety. 2 praise & 1 worship song each week.
We never learn more than two or 3 new songs a month. It normally takes about 3 weeks for kids to become comfortable with a new song. When teaching a new song be prepared for them to stand and watch you the first two weeks without much interaction on their part. If they still don’t pick up on it or begin singing with you the song is either boring or too hard for them to learn.
After a few months you will then have a great selection of songs to choose from for praise and worship. Once you have a good selection of songs kids are familiar with you will still want to keep adding a few new songs to stay current with the newest praise and worship available.
Also remember, Kids need to see authentic worship from your leaders and helpers. This will be the most effect forum of teaching. People that are not afraid to express their love and joy to God in whatever way their heart feels the need too. This may be dancing, shouting, clapping, running, kneeling, sitting in silence, crying, laughing, etc. If done from a pure heart it will always be at the right time because it is the holy spirit leading their heart.
4.Remember that they are still children
Be balanced in your expectations of them. Their attendtion span ranges from 10 to 20 minutes and do not have the ability to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes singing songs, unless God decides differently. Make sure the children understand what they are singing and that the songs are simple and easy to remember.
Explain what they are about to do. Take a few minutes each time you are about to enter into praise and worship to teach a little. Share simple scriptures from the Bible that talk about what God says about praise and worship.
Let them know it’s much more important to please God. They need to learn that they will miss out on receiving from Him if they are concerned with what others around them may think of their actions.
Help them to understand that Worship is a time to love on God and to let Him love on them. Encourage them to close their eyes during worship time and imagine that they are before His throne. There may be times during worship that you will sense the Lord leading you to be still and wait in His presence. Let the children know there will be a few moments of silence and that God is wanting to speak to them, then give God the freedom to move. Follow your heart.
Teach the children about the different ways people praised and worshiped God in the Bible. Let them know that there are many ways to express our thanksgiving and love towards God. Following are a few examples and scriptures that talk about praise and worship in the Bible:
TOWDAH- TO SACRIFICE – Psalms 50:23
YADAH- TO LIFT YOUR HANDS- 2 Chronicles 20:19-21
BARAK- TO KNEEL OR BOW – Psalms 95:6
SHABACH- TO SHOUT – Ezra 3:11
ZAMAR- TO PLAY AN INSTRUMENT – Psalms 150/1 Chron. 15:16
HALAL - TO RAVE AND BOAST – Psalms 44:8
TEHILLAH- ALL OF THE ABOVE – Psalm 22:3
Most children will not “fake” praise and worship. There will be a few that will imitate you simply because they love you and want to please you. Let them know that their focus needs to be on the Lord and not on others. Encourage them to follow their heart and do whatever it leads them to do. They may feel like jumping during a praise song or raising their hands during a worship song. Give them the freedom to express what they feel in their hearts, without the fear of being laughed at.
There will always be some that resist and others that try to take advantage. There will always be some children that resist entering into praise and worship and others that try to take advantage of the “freedom” given. When this happens have trained volunteers in place to help keep order. Have them very politely remind the child that their focus should be on God and not on playing around, and if they choose not to be a part of praising and worshiping Him then they need to sit down. Never approach a child in a harsh condemning way, always leave room for them to examine their behavior and decide what they would like to do from that point. You may even ask them “Who are you doing this for? Make sure it’s for the Lord.” The Lord will teach you how to discern whether or not they are sincere or just fooling around.
Click here to read “Teaching Children to Praise and Worship God – Part 3”