Hi, I’m Courtney Wilson, and I’m the elementary pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois. Each week our kids gather right here in this theater for worship and for The Big God Story. And then there’s this time that we call worship response time.
And it happens after they’ve heard God’s timeless truths and The Big God Story. It’s when we ask our kids to pause and to stop and to consider what this truth could mean in their life. And to examine how God’s Holy Spirit is speaking to them.
What Is Worship as a Response?
It’s when we acknowledge that our kids have the same Holy Spirit living inside of them that we have living inside of each of us as adults and leaders in the room. And there’s a moment when we stop and allow them to step out and to commune with God interpersonally, just between them and the Holy Spirit.
And we see our kids walk through the room and spend time at a prayer wall or an art wall or maybe writing in a journal. Someone will open up an Action Bible and read the story. They’ll consider and picture what God was doing and who God is.
Favorite Worship Response Memories
One of my favorite moments was when we were in worship. We were singing a song, and we kind of just called out audible for response time. We said “God, what’s your Holy Spirit doing here?” and we asked kids to just call out who God is in this moment.
And kids called out “God is mighty! God is awesome! God is holy!” And we heard kids yelling things out as we sang out and in worship. And it was this beautiful moment that no one but God could have orchestrated.
One of my other favorite things is to look at the prayer cards kids write and how their prayers are answered. The first week I’ll see one that says “Please, pray for my aunt because she has cancer.” And then a few weeks or months down the road we’ll see a prayer card come in that will say “Please pray for my aunt because God is healing her.” And then maybe a year later, a few months later, we’ll see a card come across that says “God is healer. He healed my aunt from cancer.”
And we see kids acknowledging that God is working in their lives because we’ve been brave and allowed time and space for this to happen every week for them to flex those faith muscles and see what God is really doing in their lives and in their hearts.
It’s like we pull back the veil and we see a little glimpse of that communion—that kingdom communion that they have with God. And it’s a sacred and a holy moment.
Give It a Try!
You know, I would challenge you if you were someone who has not done worship response to be brave and to try it. It’s a little scary to let 150 kids go free in a room with very little direction. But the payoff is always eternal and incredible.
And for those of you who are doing worship response, remember and celebrate what God is doing in your midst. Tell stories of how kids are meeting with God—how they’re having moments, time, and space to encounter the living God and then expressing that in their own ways.