Teaching Families to Worship

As we unpack what worship is, it is important that we understand that worship is about God; it has nothing to do with us. More than being a part of the congregation or singing, worship is what we were created to do. Teaching kids that worship is a constant motion within us that doesn’t cease can help them better understand that it is more about our relationship with Christ and less about actions. Worship is our inner (and sometimes outer) response to God that displays our reverence, honor, respect, love, and joy for Him.

Worship begins with salvation. When we humbly come to accept Jesus and His gift of eternal life, we begin to worship Him for loving us, the debt He paid, and accepting us into His kingdom. This form of worship is personal and can only be truly expressed by a transformed heart.

  • If your kids have prayed the prayer of salvation, encourage them to tell you what God has done for them. Help them recognize that their joy and love in these words is representative of their worship for Him.

The Bible has many scriptures about worshiping God with others. Worship within you is very important, but worship as a family and church is too. Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” We worship God whenever we come together to praise Him, learn about Him, and encourage each other.

  • Help your kids understand why we come together, and then prepare. Arriving at church late and rushed can throw off the day and most often attitudes. Get to church on time; consider grabbing something from the café and having a few minutes to talk before kids go to class.

As parents, we can teach our kids to be mindful of worship. Kids need to know that they can worship God anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance. We also need to remember that worship happens in both the good and hard times of life. Psalm 34:3 says, “Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name forever.”

  • Encourage your family each day to take a mental note of things like a beautiful day, being at school, God’s continual care as we travel, etc. Over dinner ask what they noticed. Kids (and parents too) will begin to see the creation around them differently and can be encouraged to worship God for it.

In January we focused on prayer, continuing with that article, remind kids that prayer is also a form of worship. Teaching them a few more ways to pray like:  “God you are great because… I worship you because….” Will help them put worship into words. As you do this, read through some of the Psalms to see how others spoke praises to God. Taking in God’s word and reflecting on the scriptures is a form of worship too.

  • Read a Psalm a day as a family.

How is your radio? Music is an amazing tool for worship! We all know the song selection at church glorifies God, but what about the car? Or the house? Encourage kids to sing and listen to music as worship.  Finding music everyone enjoys and making a playlist for the car is a way to get the whole family singing along.

Let kids choose some music. There are great bands with every sound for worship, look online or at the Bible bookstore and let kids make a selection for their use.  Be willing to let them play it in the car or when chores are being done, involvement in this choice will keep them motivated.

Lastly, giving is worship. Giving God our everything, our time, our talents, and even our tithe, are all acts of worship. Teaching kids to give through serving and through financial stewardship will lay the foundation for them to understand that these are acts of faith that God will provide and worship for what he has provided.

  • More than likely you are already serving others in some capacity at church. Verbalize why you do this, many kids know their parents serve as a teacher or sing in the choir, but do they know why you do it? Once explained, encourage kids to find ways to serve as well, helping them identify spiritual gifts that can be used to worship God. 
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Heidi Hensley

Heidi Hensley has served as Director of Children and Family Ministries at Quail Lakes Baptist in Stockton, CA, since 2005. She has over 18 years of experience in children and family ministry. Heidi spent her first 10 years of ministry designing and developing children’s ministries in churches where it was nonexistent. Heidi and her husband, Jason, were married in 1995, and they have two boys. Along with ministry, the family of four enjoys traveling and love the sport of Crossfit. Heidi has a blog for ministry, leadership and parenting articles, and maybe a rant or two about coffee and crossfit! Check it out at heidimhensley.com.
Heidi Hensley
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