By Betsy Dishman, Director of Music and Children’s Ministry, Olivet Presbyterian Church
It’s Sunday, and the children are singing in worship. The scouts have gone camping, an out-of-town wedding claimed two flower girls, a birthday party was happening, and a few families probably forgot. Every child did not sing on pitch, a couple of enthusiastic children joined in who don’t attend our mid-week ministry, and one child fell off the chancel step. It was a blessed morning!
Blessing #1: A mom has been visiting with her girls, and her husband joined her on the pew for the first time.
Blessing #2: A family with three children recently became four, with the arrival of a 5-year-old, new brother from China. It was his first time in worship.
Blessing #3: One girl, who finds standing up in front of the congregation the worst of all possible ideas so she often stays home, came and sat with me, and helped me lead the song.
As worship leaders we had an important task. We wanted to offer our best before God, so we practiced our simple song for four weeks. We also prepared by discussing why we worship, what we do in worship, and how to use a hymnal. We had something significant to communicate about living our lives in service to God, so the song chosen fit the stewardship theme for the morning. And in the moment of worshipping God together, we invited everyone to raise their voices with us on the final verse because we aren’t performers or entertainers.
Whether you are singing, ringing, dancing, or whacking buckets, be encouraged by the presence of the children and youth in worship.
Teach why and how to worship, knowing there is no substitute for experiencing worship.
Set high expectations, and be gracious with those still growing to meet them.
Look for the blessings of the day.
GenOn Ministries’ new “Worship Arts Resources for Children and Youth” by Betsy Dishman is a downloadable resource with lots of suggestions to get creative in intergenerational worship leadership! You will be able to modify the ideas to meet the needs, and abilities, of your congregation.