where love is alive 

    I have the great privilege of working beside some wonderful leaders in our children’s ministry. One of which has dedicated herself to furthering the kingdom by researching in depth the characteristics of teaching our children authentic worship. I am so excited for Leah Green and Lois Shrewsberry to share this with our preschool choirs. Here is a little of Leah’s experience…
This summer, Lanny and I had the privilege of attending Worship Week at Ridgecrest in Black Mountain, NC. Initially, I thought I was going as a tag along and entertaining our boys while Lanny attended the sessions. Instead, I attended 3 days worth of sessions concerning preschool choir ministry. Everything from the most basic music elements children need as a foundation for future success to classroom management strategies was covered. One of the days, there was an early morning session about leading children in a lifestyle of worship. Unfortunately, I missed that and was disappointed about it, until one afternoon when we were browsing the Lifeway store on campus. A book on the table caught my eye called, “Teaching Kids Authentic Worship; How to keep them close to God for life.” The basic premise is that true worship is the glue that will hold children close to God into their adulthood. The book describes worship as only about God, not what He has done or can do for us, not praising Him for doing great things or presenting our list of requests. It is a one directional focus on God for simply being who He is. It was shocking to read how many children (and adults) never experience authentic worship or know what it is. The book also poses that this is why many children spiritually “check out” around ages 10-12, even if they continue to attend church regularly. This year in preschool choir, we aim to change this. Each week at the close of our choir session, the children engage in worship time. It is short; 3-5 minutes (because let’s face it, they can’t focus much longer than that!) where the focus is purely on God. We use the word worship, change the children’s position in the room so they understand this portion is different from learning praise songs or musical terms, and express to them it is NOT about them, their friends or their desire to participate. It is ALL about God and who He is. The more children learn about God, the more they will know Him. The more they know Him, the easier it will be to worship Him. This week, I challenge you to spend 5 minutes worshipping God for who He is. Use no personal pronouns if possible. Make it all about Him. Then spend some time in His word getting to know Him better. The more you do it, the easier it will be.

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