Helping Children Worship God Through Music

When God calls a young child to himself, it’s a beautiful thing. I marvel at how the gospel message is so complex, yet at the same time simple enough that even a toddler can be convicted unto salvation. I’ve observed the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of several children, but one girl stands out in particular in my mind—sweet little Caroline.

As a three-year-old, she always knew the answers to every Bible question thrown her way and loved to praise the Lord in music. One Sunday morning, I watched her stand up and raise her palms as she sang quietly to the Lord. Her spontaneous gesture was short-lived, however, as her embarrassed mother motioned for her to sit back down in the pew like the rest of the singing congregation.

It got me thinking. How often do we consider the idea that even young children can worship God through music? How many times do we discount their spontaneous worship as silly child’s play or nonsensical jibber jabber? Sometimes, I need to remind myself that kid’s can worship God through music too!

Here are three tips for helping children worship God through music:

1.     Find songs with simple words—Ideally, the words should be simple enough that your child can understand them and repeat them (or at least some of them). You might try looking for songs that are repetitive or songs that have words echoed in them. Perhaps, try teaching your children the chorus of harder songs, and then encouraging them to listen during the verses.

2.     Choose songs that encourage worship—Just because a song is fun to sing doesn’t necessarily mean it encourages worship. This doesn’t mean you should never sing silly songs, but rather that we should be intentional in including songs with spiritual depth as well.

3.     Incorporate hand motions—As often as you can, include motions with the words you sing. It will make the words easier to remember, and even young children who struggle to communicate with words can still imitate motions such as clapping your hands.

Here are a few free resources I’ve found for children’s worship music:

·      Hillsong Kids—Follow their YouTube channel as they encourage children to worship.

·      The Village Church—Download their five original songs about the character of God and His plan to save sinners through Jesus Christ.

·      Ministry-to-Children—View several worship songs and videos geared toward kids.

·      Yancy’s “Hosanna Rock”—because your life is not complete until you see an animated pig playing the drums.

What are your favorite worship songs for children? Leave a comment with your musical recommendations.

Sarah is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. Some of her previous ministry experiences have included teaching and mentoring of adults and children in a wide variety of settings. Her small claim to fame is that she has worked with children of every age range from birth through high school over the past 20 years. She and her husband Ben reside in Richardson, Texas with their four children.