1. High energy dancers/motions.
If you use music that is really high energy, one way to capture the moment and to help teach kids the concepts in the song is to put together simple hand/dance motions for these songs. Use people, young and old, who love to dance and jump around. People who love to be the life of the party work well in this role. Find motion videos online or make your own. With smartphones, youtube, and simple movie editing software, it’s very easy to captures these motions. You’ll want to have a reference video so that everyone (as you add new folks, too) will be on the same page.
2. High energy leaders who lead the dancers/motions.
You’ll want to have at least 1 person on a microphone to really encourage the kids and to lead out. In between songs, this leader (or leaders) will shout out how great the kids are doing, or challenge them to sing louder! The point is that this person really needs to engage well and not be afraid to dive in head first!
3. Recruit several kids from the “crowd” to come up and lead with you.
Kids love to jump in and be the volunteer for games and high energy music. Take advantage of their energy by having them join your official dancers/movers up front. They won’t know every move, but they’ll add a fresh level of excitement by just being up there. Depending on the size of your group you could bring all the 1st grade boys up for one song, or all the 2nd grade girls for the next song. Or you could just get 3 boys and 3 girls. Mix it up!
4. Dance party style.
This doesn’t happen every time, but every once in a while, it’s really fin if you recruit 3 times as many dancers as you would normally have and then have them wear silly costumes and bring beach balls, streamers, balloons, confetti, noise makers, etc. and during the high energy song they go crazy and praise God with exuberant worship!
5. Live band with dancers/motions.
If you have the setup for this, you can utilize a live band. Set them up in such a way that the live vocalists are also the high energy leaders and fill the up front area with lot of motion people. Kids love live music (probably more so than canned music) so if you can treat them to live music occasionally it is REALLY special to them!
Do you have any other tips for incorporating high energy dance moves and hand motions into your children’s praise and worship sets? Share in the comments!
Russ Hutto is the Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church where he mentors, oversees and helps lead Family and Student worship environments. He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.