Insight from a Children's Pastor & Awana Commander

Children – Performers or Leaders?

Children’s ministry is cute. After all, isn’t the purpose of children’s ministry to put on programs for Christmas and Easter, maybe a program after VBS, just to entertain the adults? I once attended a church where I was expected to put on a program to show the church what the children had been learning.

At a church where I served, I was permitted to modify the family service, replacing the usual worship team with DVD’s we used during KidzChurch and had the children in front leading the worship time with motions, etc.

leading_worshipAs I look back, I realized a big mistake I had made. I had not made it clear that the children in front, along with the adults, were actually leading in worship with words and motions. I look back and see that many viewed the children in front as a presentation, entertainment. I’m not sure if the applause after each song was for the Lord, or for the children for a job well done performing in front of the adults.

Parents and relatives were filming and taking pictures of their children in front instead of focusing on Jesus. At times, parents would encourage their children to join the other children in front (join the performance) and not to participate and worship where they were.

Children’s ministry is important, it’s good entertainment.

I pray that people can begin to see children in scenarios like this as leading worship, not just performing. Just as we should view the adult worship “bands” and teams in our churches as leading worship, not performing.

I’m not demeaning children’s programs, but when the church can only see the children as “performers”, and not participants/leaders, there is a problem.

So how about you? Do you use children to lead songs in your ministry? When adults are present, do they see the children as performers, or leaders?


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