Hello everyone, I’m Michelle Anthony. Welcome to Family Ministry Conversations. Today’s topic is worship as response. You know, there are a lot of ways to worship, and it’s not just the two songs that we sing before the message, right?
Worship is our life. Romans 12 tells us that we are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices which is our reasonable act of worship. When we are training children and their parents in family ministry about what it means to be worshipers, we make it clear that it means that they’re going to worship with their entire lives, every decision they make.
Their attitudes, their choices, how they invest their time. These can be their acts of worship toward God.
There are Many Ways to Worship
Now, there is a way that we worship through singing. There’s a way that we worship through giving as well. And there’s a way that we worship as a response.
This is something that God really started compelling my heart about 12 years ago. I was watching the kids after the time of teaching just get up and run to their activity stations or go into their classrooms or, even worse, sometimes just go redeem their dollars at the Bible bookstore.
I started feeling convicted that we weren’t giving them a chance to respond to God in an act of worship.
The Birth of Worship as Response
So after the time of teaching and after the time of even singing, there is a time that we have created that allows for generous space, prime real estate, right in the middle of worship service for kids after they’ve heard God’s Word to now listen to God’s voice. It’s a time when they get to hear from Him or just talk to Him about the things that they’ve heard.
Perhaps they’ve heard that God has given them a new life in Christ—because of the redemption that He’s offered, they have a new life. And maybe their response to Him is just one of gratitude or thankfulness or rejoicing. We get to offer them a chance to go respond.
So one of the things that we started doing in our ministry and in our curriculum was to create spaces around the room. Worship response stations.
How We Use Response Stations
These stations became the places kids could go to write a prayer request or a proclamation to God, they could kneel at a cross and just thank Him for salvation or bring their cares to Him there.
There are journal stations where they could go and maybe write out a prayer or their thoughts. Art stations for those who maybe aren’t as good with words but who can draw what they’re trying to say or what they’re feeling. There can be a place of actually doing a worship response that ties in with the lesson.
For example, one week when we were teaching on the bondage that sin brings us, we had all the children have ropes tied around their wrists when they came into class. And then during worship response in an act of worship, the kids got to come forward out of their seats and have those ropes cut off. And then as we created a pile, we rejoiced in the victory and freedom that we have in Christ.
There are lots of ways to get creative about worship response, but the important things is to know that this is a time for kids to be with God, to talk to Him, through His Holy Spirit and not to each other.
It’s Important to Set the Right Tone
And the way that we set that up is so important because if I dismiss kids to activity centers like, “Go find your fun thing to do!”, then they’ll model that behavior in their talkativeness or in their attitudes.
But if I say, “Kids, you just heard from the living God. You just heard from His Word and now you have a chance to respond to Him as an act of worship. We want you quietly when you’re ready to find a response station and talk to God and listen to God and not to your friends.”
Then we’re setting this time to be a holy and sacred time for children. And while some people think that kids can’t do this, let me convince you right now that they can because I have seen it myself. I’ve witnessed it the beautiful things that God has uncovered by us just simply giving Him that space and time to speak.