Guiding a child on their worship journey

worship thumbnailThere is a view by some that adult worship is more genuine, real or important than children’s worship – but I really don’t think that’s the case.

Psalm 8: 2 says: “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

For anyone who thinks that children are too young to engage in worship, this verse makes it clear that God has chosen that praise will naturally come out from young people. Amazing!

I’ve given a lot of thought to the importance of journeying with children in worship. It can be particularly hard in this age of short attention spans, so we need to make the start of the journey fun and exciting, and something the children want to take part in. And if they are with us, then we stand a chance of journeying somewhere deeper with them.

Action songs are certainly not the be-all and end-all of children’s worship, but they have been immensely helpful in encouraging children to come on board. Using sign language has also been a powerful way of helping children stay involved with quieter songs.

15 Doug HorleyChildren are growing up in a world where they hear a lot of secular music on TV, the internet and in computer games. So, my aim is to write songs with catchy melodies (and often quirky words!) based on scriptural truth, but written in a way that children can really relate to and want to join in with.

It all helps provide a means for them to worship in a way that’s appropriate and relevant to them.

It’s humbling and encouraging to get feedback on how my songs have really helped children (and adults) to connect with God.

Children becoming bored in worship can have serious consequences on their view of church and God.

So let’s do all we can to help children come on board for the worship journey with us and help them connect with our amazing God.

And the good news is that it’s ok to have a bunch of fun along the way!

Doug Horley is a recording artist signed to EMI/Thankyou Music and Elevation Music. His song ‘We want to see Jesus lifted high’ was once chosen as the theme for the Global March for Jesus, sung by 25 million people in 176 countries! Doug regularly releases CDs, DVDs and travels nationally and internationally to put on family concerts.(
This article first appeared in Life magazine issue 4.