Serving as a new Children's Director brings so much excitement. But with that excitement comes a plethora of challenges. How did the last director lead? Should I try to lead in the same way . . . or are the families wanting/needing something different? Do I throw away the thousands of 10 year left-over arts and crafts supplies or keep them for that one day they might be needed? I'm not so sure if it was a good idea to give that child sugar . . .
I had a challenge appear before me on my very first night of leading Children's Church. I had my computer and projector plugged up. I had cool lights on and activities spread out ready for organized use. My tech schedule was flawless. I couldn't wait to worship with my new kids. After a fun "get-your-head-in-the-game" activity, the first worship song was played accompanied by a very well done music video (Thanks to Lifeway's Worship Kidstyle). And then . . . gasp . . . I looked around and no one, and I mean NOT A SINGLE CHILD was singing. They weren't singing and they were looking at me like I had 2 heads. I felt the ground beneath me crumble. I encouraged them to sing, to worship, but nothing happened. It was then that the still, small voice said to me, "Teach them, daughter. They need to be taught how to worship me." I thought, "Could that be? Have they really never been taught, have they never seen what it means to worship God through song?" This was a huge wake-up call for me. Parents, leaders, volunteers, we have a huge responsibility before us. If we want our kids to have a global impact, if we want them not to conform to the pattern of this world, we have to teach them how to be set apart. We have to teach them by example.
"Their teachers were considered model in every way. Each class was a study in the art of discipline. Yet these students grew into lethargic adulthood. Now they sit in serene Sunday repose week after dreary week. These adults are doing what they were compelled to do as children. They sit quietly doing nothing for God they have been trained in the way they should not go, and now they are old and will not depart from it."
Training up a child in the way he should go means to teach the child how to be apart of a worship service. Gruber writes the following on service within the service:
"The ideal is a church service where every service challenges service. The children we serve are saints. We encourage every saint to be a participant. They are the body of Christ and everybody should be active in the body."
Those words just sent chills down my spine for the the 10th time today. How am I challenging the kids the Lord has given me to be an active participant in a worship service? How am I showing them how to be an active part of the Body? I realize that not everyone will love to worship God through song. For some people the thought of opening their mouth to sing sends a different set of chills down their spine. I understand that and I am in no way saying that worship can only be done through song. However, we must hold onto the truth that it is the church's responsibility to train up our children how to actively worship God.
I am committing to teach the kids in my ministry how to worship, will you?