8 Tips for Leading Kids In Worship

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Here are some great tips from Fred McKinnon, TWC Founder for leading elementary school age children in musical worship.

This Sunday morning I experienced one of the greatest joys of leading worship. As I looked down from my position on stage during our closing song I saw my daughter, Rebekah. She was standing next to her friend Ginger and both girls had their eyes closed and little hands raised in worship as they sang “How Great is our God.”

The song was in their hearts as they weren’t staring at us or the lyrics. These girls have professed Jesus Christ as their Lord and they were truly worshiping Him.

These girls are 8-years old.

I had the privilege of leading our KidJam worship this past weekend at SSCC. KidJam is the 1st – 5th grade elementary service. It’s usually high energy with a lot of moving parts and segments. I’ve been asking you what your questions were about church music and leadership and several of you asked about leading kids in worship.

When approaching a kid’s worship service I want to accomplish two things. First, I want to captivate them with exciting music so that they are interested. Kids are used to Disney Channel, color, sound, movement, and interaction so I want to be sure they will connect.

Second, I want them to experience a true encounter with God as they worship. I want to give them more than an energy boost. Kids will clap, shout, and sing along but without some instruction they may not really understand what worship is all about. They can very well just be excited for the sake of being excited.

When planning or leading a children’s worship service there are many things to consider. Today I’d like to discuss eight tips that may help you as you consider the worship culture of your children’s ministries:

1. Try to get your most passionate, active leaders on stage.

You’d think that stage presence wouldn’t matter with kids but they are watching everything and if you’re excited, they are excited. They learn by imitation. If you aren’t an expressive worshiper they will not be expressive either.

2. Go with lots of energy.

They like fast and furious. Songs that they can clap to, jump to, shout to are all great songs. Kids naturally have a lot of energy and if you can get them engaged they will light up the room with response.

3. Bring it down to simple worship.

The mistake we can easily make when leading kids in worship is to only lead them fast and furious. Remember we are leading them into a place of worship. At some point, dial it down and do something more simple so the kids can begin to sense God’s Presence around them and in them. Drop your instrumentation down at some point so you can hear them singing in the room and follow them.

4. Teach them

Kids aren’t going to listen to a 20-minute discourse on theological worship and the Hebrew words for praise. They will; however, respond to simple, bite-size encouragements about why we sing, why we worship, how we respond to God, and how to be aware of His Presence. Take advantage of this in your song setups and intros.

Read the last 4 tips at FredMcKinnon.com

Have tips of your own? Feel free to add them in our comments section below!



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 and at HighestPraise.com.

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