At Grace Community we are working hard to create incredible worship experiences for kids week and and week out. In four years we have had a ton of time to practice! Kids learn theology through the songs they sing so it is so important to help kids latch on to songs that share rich truth. In 2009 we introduced large group worship times for preschool also and it has taken our preschool ministry to the next level. What we know for sure is WORSHIP MATTERS when it comes to kid’s ministry! Here are some of the practices/principles we have embraced as we lead kids each week…
- Environment matters >> Setting the stage to help kids prepare for worship is a big deal. We have made sure our worship space is the right SIZE by using movable walls in both the k-5 and preschool areas. We have also created easy to set up backdrops and used lighting to make sure we pull the kids attention to the worship leader.
- SOUND is a big deal for kids >> we have found out that quality sound at the right level is just a important for kids as it is for teens and adults. Making sure the sound levels are targeted right for both age groups helps kids engage with the music being played.
- USE THE TRACKS >> even if you have an amazing singer use the lead vocal track to take the experience to the next level. (we only use live vocals in our family experience) Since we use live tracks we can bring incredible worship leaders right to our kids and YES the leader van focus on leading worship not hitting all the right notes! Check our Amber Sky Records for some amazing resources for worship. We also use ton’s of music from Hillsong United for our K-5 environment!
- Motions Matter >> kids love to dance, adults love to dance, people in the Bible danced…get your dance on! We make simple, fun motions for every song. Check out some we have made for our kids ministry here!
- Keep it FRESH but Keep it CONSISTENT >> introduce new songs each month but make sure you don’t go to fast. Kids love singing songs they KNOW so make sure you give each age group time to learn new songs. Remember that significant truth must be reinforced over and over…music helps us do that!
- Keep it UPBEAT >> boys will never connect with slow and reflective songs…save that jank for teens and adults. KEEP IT UPBEAT. Kids need to celebrate and powerful truth can packed into upbeat songs.
Some great thoughts. I would challenge you to think about two areas. We for the last year have been using the tracks (AmberSky/ Hillsongs) with the vocal on the track and we just made a switch to a girl that just uses the tracks with BGVs and plays her guitar and my wife who leads the motions – it has take kids engagement level.
The second idea would be this – don’t sell your kids short with intimate worship. Mighty to Save and Shout to the Lord just the vocal and guitar are some powerful times for kids to get that its about climbing in the lap of Daddy and tell him that you love him.
Great thoughts! I so agree, the instrument with the vocal and solid backgrounds tracks SOOOO works! I also have to agree with tempo to…mid-tempo songs also work well. We try to be sensitive to the boys in the room! Thanks for the comment!
this is a great post. We are just starting to incorporate worship into our kids environment and this is a huge help. Love what you guys are doing.
Thanks Pat…dude I am going to blog this week about how we find worship leaders…that is another hard process but it has been fun to work through it