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From the lips of babes and infants you have ordained praise, because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and the avenger.
– Psalm 8:2
But the chief priests and scribes were indignant when they saw the wonders He did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked. “Yes,” Jesus answered, “have you never read: ‘From the mouths of children and infants You have ordained praise’?” – Matthew 21:15-16
Maybe singing in church is an uncomfortable concept to many… especially to those who don’t regularly attend a gathering of believers. How about those of us who are a part of a church? Is the choral worship time of the service a divine appointment where we meet with God? Or do we sometimes find ourselves standing awkwardly, not singing? Not sure of the words, the music; not having the inclination to join in.
When we think of uninhibited God-focused worship, we are reminded of King David, dancing in the streets, praising God among his people (2 Samuel 6:14). That David was the man grown from a young boy who composed songs of praise to God. We have come a long way from those days but not so far that we can’t learn from David’s worship.
Our children grew up, even overseas, with rich and varied opportunities to learn and practice worship. We sang at home and at church. I am so thankful for churches and schools where teaching children to worship was a priority.
The kids learned both silly songs and Scripture-rich songs – through Vacation Bible School, church camp, and the children’s program and church choirs. They still remember the lyrics to many of the songs they learned as children.Photo Credit: BP NewsPhoto Credit: BP News
How do we raise up worshippers? We teach them the greatness of God and we help them infuse their senses with who He is. Singing and movement are part of that. Could it be easier for children than adults to get out of their own way and worship God? The Scripture reflects the importance of guiding children to worship God. They can then grow into adult worshippers who understand the power of praise.
Our church is currently just in the beginning of teaching our children to worship. Starting just this summer, we bring them together to teach them songs and give them the experience of worshipping in this way. Many of you have been doing this very thing for so long you may take it for granted as part of the ministry of your church.
What songs are part of your church’s mentoring of young worshippers?
I’ve listed below the ones our children grew up with (some of which I even grew up with). Not all very rich theologically but all familiar – with memories attached of uninhibited singing to God shoulder-to-shoulder with other children. Are any of these a part of your worship up-bringing?
Kind, K-I-N-D, Kind
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah
A-la-la-la-la-la-leia x2 Praise the Lord
Be Bold, Be Strong, for the Lord Your God Is With You – bouncy, fun music with lyrics but no voice
O Be Careful Little Eyes, What You See (Our children learned this in Arabic, too.)
Please share your standards in the Comments. Both the traditional songs you’re still using and more contemporary ones that have become a part of the music the kids in your church know and love. Our desire is to continue to raise up worshippers…mighty, fearless worshippers of a great and awesome God!Photo Credit: BP News