1. Make it fun – I love fast songs fun songs, we have done “The Roundup” for over 10 years and our kids still love it. The round-up has nothing to do with Jesus it’s just fun. I try to be the best father I can yet I make mistakes our Father in heaven is perfect. If I delight in the sound of my kids having a good time laughing and playing in the next room, imagine how our Father in heaven delights over us. Our father in heaven delights in us when we are simply having fun.
2. Teach kids to worship – One of the advantages of having age appropriate environments is you can teach kids why we worship and how we worship. I think having kids in worship with you in big church has some value to be sure, what it lacks is the intentionality of saying this is why we raise our hands and why we sing. Teach the kids what the Word says about worship.
3. Get them involved – It doesn’t matter how you do it, but if worship devolves into a spectator sport we have lost. Worship is something kids have to be an active part of, if that’s a kids worship team, dance team, or something different they need to own it.
4. Make it big – You need to make it as big as you can. There is nothing wrong with a CD player and Yancy or Hillsong playing. But kids can listen to a CD at home, don’t just put a CD player on and sing to it. Make it big. Put on a Yancy CD or Hillsong worship CD and get a bunch of kids up front, break out instruments, think outside the box. How can I make this big so kids see that glorifying God is a big deal.
5. Sing songs that are theologically deep – There are some worship songs for kids that make worship to simple. Kids can sing hymns and should sing hymns. I want my kids to have a bigger theological vocabulary than they have a full understanding or appreciation for, because they are going to grow into the need for those truths. We all want to be comforted by something when life gets rough. I want my kids to find their comfort in a God that is far greater than they could ever imagine. I want my kids to live their lives for the Glory of the Gospel of Jesus. That comes from singing songs that have lyrics that point them to truths that will become relevant in darkest of seasons. I am a massive hymn fan. My son the other day started to sing “Before the throne of God above.” He doesn’t always do that but the fact that he has at his disposal the deep abiding truth contained in that song, comforts me because the power of that song lies in it’s description of a God who is both just and justifier.
6. Relentlessly point to Jesus – In every opportunity as you lead kids in worship point them to Jesus. In every song you select make sure the take away is not fun alone but does this set of songs bring kids to a place where they see Jesus as beautiful. We want kids to have fun but if we are not ruthless in our desire to bring kids to a place of worship through our worship they could grow up to think worship is a about style or preference, it’s not. Worship is about reflecting back to Jesus the honor due his name. Worship is all about him. Relentlessly point kids to Jesus every week!