Kids worship songs are taking a more interesting twist in this generation: whereas children used to be viewed as simply “junior” Christians who need to be entertained during Sunday worship services in order to keep their parents coming to church, a paradigm shift is happening in the church when it comes to children’s ministry. A growing group of ministers and parents have become aware of the potential of developing children’s spiritual lives, believing that they are just as capable as adults, if not more, of hearing from God and worshiping Him with all their hearts.
What is this new mindset about children that is happening across the body of Christ? As these parents meditate on the word, they wonder: when Jesus said to let the children come to Him, was His goal simply to get them to behave, or was He sincerely interested in the little ones and wanted them to feel His love? The new mindset is that children can experience God just as well as any adult can, and that only by encountering His heart will they be able to live godly lives in respect to their parents. These new breed of parents is not typically concerned with getting their children to behave right as they are about making sure their children grow up with a right picture of God.
In this mindset of child rearing, what kind of kids worship songs can best help parents and teachers teach the children to sing and worship the Lord?
- Songs that point children to the beauty of Jesus are excellent tools for helping them worship. This can come in the form of kiddie language and kiddie rhymes, or they may actually be adult songs sung by children. For example, there are many kids’ ministries that benefit from worship CDs and videos like the Jesus is My Superhero DVD, with some songs designed specifically for children and others being kid versions of adult songs. The good thing about these kid versions is that children can relate better to nice kiddie voices, and even adults can enjoy them as well.
- Songs with lyrics that children can understand are the best kinds of songs to introduce to younger children. For example, there are many kid-versions of existing worship songs designed for adults. Whereas kids can easily follow along with the melody, if they do not understand the words, it will not do anything for their little hearts. This is the reason why kids Christian music, like Cedarmont Worship for Kids 1, continues to be a popular choice among parents and teachers alike in encouraging their kids to start singing about Jesus.
- Songs with a fun beat can allow children not just to sing but also to dance as their act of worship. Worship is not limited only to singing, and children who learn to dance and enjoy the presence of the Lord at a young age will be less conscious about doing so when they are older. It also sets the foundation for the truth that Jesus is actually the happiest Person who ever lived, and that God is not some distant stoic Father but rather one who rejoices, laughs, and dances. A great way to introduce kids to the idea that it’s OK to dance and be happy in church would be to use Christian songs set to a dance pad, such as the Dance Praise 2 The Remix 2.
Whatever type of kids worship songs you may choose to use with your children, it is important that you yourself get a paradigm shift when it comes to ministering to your children. Once we understand the heart of God for the little children, we can impart this same heart to the children in our care, allowing us to usher them into awesome times of interacting with the God who loves them passionately and desires to share the deep things of His heart with them. Worship songs will simply open the way for children to encounter Him, especially given how He is not tangible or visible. As they become comfortable with the practice and actually make it a habit to sing songs of worship, they become more open to the thought that indeed, God can and desires to speak with them. And then we will see our children do mighty exploits for God beyond our very imaginations!