I have found that having children in the room with us in worship times is a huge blessing to the whole church family. There are many in the family of God that receive deep blessing just by the simple, pure presence and worship of kids. Children naturally open up the atmosphere in such a powerful way. I want to encourage you to have them with you in these moments, and to explore what it looks like for you to engage with their hearts that see and love and worship Jesus. Here are some ways that I like to engage with them. *Also, a quick tip. We have found that having flags and ribbons, crayons and paper available to them during worship is helpful. They are creative worshipers!
- When you see children, smile at them, inviting their presence into your heart.
- Be aware of their presence and of their movements. So often I see the Lord prompting their actions. Whether it is a dance or a flag waved, a picture they have drawn or a quiet prayer they pray, a hug they have given or their voices raised in singing. Sometimes you will even see Him in their ‘play’. See them and look for the Lord in them.
- When you see the worship of a child/children, or you see Jesus in them, allow their spirit to draw your own and receive of the Lord there. Turn your eyes to see Him and let Him sink into you. Worship Him and praise Him together with them.
- Draw near to children and ask them questions. Here are some examples of questions I like to ask in corporate worship times. I usually only ask one question at any given time: Where is Jesus, do you see Him? Where is God’s heartbeat in the room, can you find it? What does your heart want to sing to the Lord? What is the sound of Heaven right now? What is the Lord singing? Is Papa saying anything to your heart? What is happening inside of God’s heart right now?
- Sometimes I will ask them questions specifically related to what we are singing. I will say something like “Hey guys. We are singing to Jesus who is our Peace. What does peace look like?” They may start drawing, some will walk around with Jesus while they think on it, and others will come to me to whisper what it is to them, or to tell me about the peace of Jesus that they feel or have felt in a recent part of their life. This is a perfect time to sit with them and thank Jesus for being our Prince of Peace who never leaves us, who is so good and who is forever with us. I have at times had a child come up to me because they wanted to pray for people to have what we were singing about. When this happens, join their heart and pray with them. You can do this with any focus you are experiencing in worship: Looking into His face. His love poured out. Our adoration and honor for Him. Praise and thanks. Healing. Joy! Our King. Our Father. Sons arising. Whatever you are in with the whole family during worship, you can quietly ask a child/children about it. You will be amazed at what comes out of their hearts. They will fearlessly look right at Him and be with Him there.
- Invite a child to sing with you. Pick them up, or get on your knees even, so that your face is at a similar height as their face is. This way you can hear each other’s voices. When we sing together, our hearts join together like our voices do.
- If you see a child dancing, intentionally connect your heart to theirs and to their worship. It could be the thing that frees you to dance too! If you have a dance in you, teach them. They love to join in even the most simple of dances.
- Sometimes I like to sit down beside a child and ask them to look around the room and ask God to show them a person that He wants them to pray for.
- After worship or the gathering time/service is over, freely encourage a child who blessed you during that time “Thank you for your heart for Jesus. He loves your worship.” or “Your worshipful heart to God helped me see Jesus today.” From time to time, tell a child how you see Jesus in them. And let us not stop there, tell your adult brothers and sisters that you see Jesus in them too. Opening our hearts in this way is so good for all.
May you find yourself overtaken by Jesus as you worship Him together with children. He is worthy of all our praise and of every part of our heart poured out upon Him. He is worthy of our fullest attention and all of our affection. Praise Him!