Children should lead in church, if they have a heart to do so and are willing to be trained. That’s this children’s ministry veteran’s opinion but I understand that not everyone feels that way. My thinking is this, if we wait until kids are “old enough” we miss an opportunity for them to learn how to worship and how to lead others into that special place with the Lord. Plus there is something inspiring and anointed about seeing children worship God. It is an experience that moves people, even adults that don’t normally cry or show emotion. Allowing kids to lead worship in your children’s church or “big” church isn’t just good for kids–it’s good for everyone!
If you’ve got something like this in mind, put these six tips for letting kids lead worship to work for you.
6 Tips for Letting Kids Lead Worship
1. Give them specific instructions and step back. Should they pass out beach balls, raise their hands? What should they do? Give kids prompts like, “Okay on this first song we are going to…” Don’t assume they know, even if they’ve been in service with you a hundred times. Leading worship is nerve-wracking!
2. Rehearse the music with kids. Don’t spring a new song on kids right before service. They should know the tune inside and out. I find simple songs with a few verses and a catchy chorus works best.
3. Let kids help pick the music. Ask your kid volunteers to help you pick out a few songs. Kids will tell you what worship songs excite them.
4. Don’t force kids to serve. Kids will sign up and then chicken out. It’s the just the nature of things, don’t let it get to you. Encourage always! If kids don’t want to do it, don’t force them. Praise and worship should be offered freely and joyfully; it can’t be forced, even if parents would like it to happen.
5. Communicate with parents before the event. I like giving parents the option to sit in on the worship session but sometimes this makes kids nervous. In those cases, I just record it and share it later. Either way, I always let them know if I plan on bringing out the kids for a special worship session.
6. Don’t try to vet kids. My criteria for allowing kids to help with worship is simple–probably too simple. The child should be familiar with the song and be willing to worship. That’s pretty much it. I don’t make them take a course or be in attendance for twelve weeks first. But that’s just me.
Any tips you can think of for letting kids lead worship? What works for you?
Read more from Mimi by following her blog at Tools for Kids Church.