Children can’t get enough of active worship and for some churches, this means teaching kids to worship with flags. With flags, kids will learn to worship God creatively, both individually and as a church. However, any children’s pastor worth his or her salt knows you can’t pass out flags to a bunch of kids with no instruction. Don’t assume kids will understand that flags are for worshiping God, not toys for whacking their friends.
Provide instructions first. “Today for worship, I want us all to wave flags, just like the ancient worshipers in Israel did. However, there are some rules. Please don’t hit anyone with your flag. If you do, a volunteer will tap you on the shoulder to take your flag and ask you to sit down. If you are asked to sit down, please be quiet so others can worship.”
Encourage kids to give themselves room. Tell everyone to find a spot to stand and to stay there. Unless you are leading a march, kids should stand still or stand in place.
Lead a session of “follow me” to show kids how to use the flag. Teaching kids to worship with flags may take some practice. Show kids a few moves with the flags before you play the worship song. Say, “Let’s reach high on our tippy toes,” and “Let’s get low.” (For this move, just squat or lean down and wave the flag.) Show kids how to move the flag in a figure-eight and how to make vertical and horizontal circles. These are really all the moves they need to know.
Pick a worship song with a medium beat. Kids should feel inspired to move the flags around at a beat that keeps them occupied. Also, do pick a worship song that is not too long. Children tend to get bored quickly, especially younger children.
Give instructions during the song. Shout out phrases during worship like, “Reach high now! We want God to see us!” Keep things moving with frequent instructional changes.
Most importantly, let kids worship with flags their own way. As long as they follow the rules and don’t hurt anyone expressing themselves with flags is a great way to cultivate a child’s relationship with God. You can do it!
Read more from Mimi by visiting her blog at Tools for Kids Church.