Parents typically spend hundreds of dollars on extracurricular activities for their children. Money spent on training in martial arts is considered an investment in children’s safety. Private tutoring is often purchased for a child struggling academically. It is quite average for a family to spend $9,076 yearly on expenditures for three youth participating in sports.
We need to invest in our children spiritually.
One way to invest in our children spiritually is by advancing what I call their “worship training.” Participation in worship training is a major component to a child’s spiritual development and well-being. I consider this second in importance only to helping them obtain assurance of their salvation.
Here are four practical applications of worship training, both at home and in children’s ministry, and how they can benefit children:
1. Worship helps kids in their spiritual walk. Children who experience true worship grow in their personal relationship with God as they learn to put their trust in God and to be led by His Spirit. Children who are given the opportunity to worship God both publicly and privately will be less stressed and more able to deal with negative emotions.
Children who worship on a regular basis will develop hearts filled with gratefulness as they recognize God’s goodness and mercy. They will be much more able to extend those graces toward others.
2. Worship ushers peace into their environment. Worship can be a wonderful avenue to release peace into an environment, whether it is the church or home setting. Encourage parents to play worship music before bedtime. Especially for those children who have difficulty falling asleep or who struggle with fearful dreams, anointed music can usher peace into their hearts and home.
3. Worship inspires creativity. Family ministry can be an avenue to help children find and grow their talents. Some parents invest money in their children’s talents when talents have been discovered. But not every child discovers his gifts at a young age. Creativity can be birthed in worship.
Encourage parents to allow their children to express themselves in private worship at home. Let them try drawing, painting, writing or dancing while listening to anointed music. Unknown gifts may be discovered.
4. Worship helps them memorize the Word. There are many ways worship may be expressed, but singing is probably the most common for children. It is well-known that putting Bible verses to song is the fastest and easiest way for many children to memorize Scripture.
Putting the Word to music is wonderful for memorization we usually retain well into adulthood.
Remember that children are truly worshipping only if they understand the meaning. Adults often teach songs but forget to teach the meaning of the words or concepts. I have often inquired of a child the meaning of words in a song only to discover they are clueless about what they are singing.
To teach them words and melody without meaning robs them of the ability to truly worship. Help them to understand what they are singing.
Invest in Worship Resources
For a minimal financial amount, compared to the annual cost of sports, tutoring and other activities, churches and parents can invest in solid worship tools and resources. While the financial cost may be minimal, the spiritual impact of using such resources can be deeper and more profound than anything else a child receives.
Worship music CDs, DVDs and books that encourage the habit of worship will help build a foundation for a lifestyle of peace, gratefulness and trust.
Peggy Nelson has been dancing with Jesus for 30 years and during that time has been a children’s minister in three churches. Currently she serves as associate pastor at Crossfire Church in Englewood, Colo., where she oversees the children’s ministry and women’s ministry. She has ministered in six nations.