Yancy is a worship leader and songwriter for kids that travels the globe doing family concerts and training worship leaders. Her worship resources for kids include the popular series: “Little Praise Party” and “Kidmin Worship”. Her life is made even more complete with her husband, Cory and sons, Sparrow and Rhythm, where they live in Nashville, TN. Learn more at yancyministries.com.

Yancy, Guest Post

 

“Is the desire to have dancers or singers?” Those are the words that I wrote down in my notebook recently as I was at a church consulting them on their kids worship. They had a group of kids on stage that honestly were doing a great job. (Especially without an adult type leader in the mix.) It was a group of kids from the class that are on a worship team. They were smiling and they were giving it their all but the truth is they were so focused on doing the “moves” to the song that they were missing what I feel is the truth about what worshipping is all about. Too often throughout the song they weren’t singing. It’s the words to the song (especially when they are filled with God’s Word, truth, promises, victory and goodness) that gets down on the inside of your heart.  The songs you sing help the voice of creation declare the greatness of their Creator, shaping a perspective of who God is and what He’s capable of doing for months and years to come.

We don’t do worship in our services and programs to check a box off the to do list. We don’t do worship to fill up time or even get the wiggles out. We choose to make worship be a part of our services because it’s a connecting point with the Father. It’s a way to take a step in our relationship with the Lord. Through the lyrics we sing we can cast our cares and we can declare where our help comes from.  Worship is something we were created to do. As we sing we confess “to God be the glory forever and ever, amen.”

There are seasons that I’ve been through in life where the only option I knew I had was to turn to the Lord. I made my hiding place be His presence. I sang about His faithfulness and His power even when I needed a miracle turn of events in my reality. Worship was the place where I could cry out to the Lord and at the same time remind myself of what I believed was true.  Worship isn’t something we do just when the feeling is there, it’s a choice we make. The cool part is that often that confession of truth that you choose to sing and lift up rings truer and truer in our hearts as we take that step of faith and honor the One that gave us the breath in our lungs that are able to pour out His praise. Think about it like an elevator. What you think about gets into your heart by passing through your mouth. What you speak with your mouth is what gets into your heart. Just like what is in your heart is what comes out of your mouth, I want more than anything for the attitudes and reflections of my heart to be the praises of the One that holds the victory. I’ve seen His faithfulness in the past and I know He won’t change so I’ll keep singing about His faithfulness for as long as I live.  Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

So back to the recent reminder I had of what is really important. There was more dancing than singing that day. If someone watched your Kidmin take part in worship how would they define what they see? Are you raising up dancers or singers? Too often of late we have defined kids worship to be all about the dance moves or motions to the song. I have spoken with leaders who truly think if a song doesn’t have motions they can’t do it. That is bologna! Motions can be great. They can be a tool. They can enhance parts of the songs you do. But that’s just it, they are a piece of the equation. If it is your main focus and how you define kids worship you sadly are selling your kids short. The Bible talks about the power of kids’ worship. (Look up Psalm 8:1&2 in the MSG or Matthew 21:16) Motions don’t have to be in every song or from start to finish of a song. Have you ever considered that some of the push back you may have within your group is because some of your kids, especially older ones and boys don’t want to participate in your dance number?

We have the book of Psalms in the Bible as a guide to teach us about worship. Dancing is a part of it. Just like clapping and lifting your hands is a part of it. Shouting to God in triumph, playing instruments and singing new songs is all part of worship. How are you teaching kids to do those things? For some of you it’s time to expand your vision for kids worship. What do you want kids to learn about it? What do you want them to experience about God’s presence? When they graduate to the next age group or class what do you want them to know about how and why we worship? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we helped our kids learn to run TO God with their troubles rather than FROM God? Worship is a safe place. It’s a hiding place that young and old have to say “God You’re amazing and I need your help. I’m trusting You. I’m relying on Your strength today.” Every week you have an opportunity through the songs that you sing in class to point kids to Jesus and help them express their adoration to the Lord. Be strategic. Let’s raise up a generation that knows how to worship the One all praise is due.

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©2018 Yancy Ministries, Inc.

 

    4 Responses

    1. Dan

      thats why we do all our dance type stuff at the beginning and then right before the message we worship in song

    2. Carlin

      I love this… but would humbly say your preference for lyrics over movement may be because you are a singer. I, was raised a dancer. There are moments when only movement can express the worship in my heart to God. In the privacy of my living room, when no one but He is watching, my dance expresses what is in my heart. Do we want dancers or singers? Really… Neither. We want worshippers.

    3. Christopher Beatty (Vocal Coach)

      Good comments, all, and a great article, Yancy. What I “heard” from you was not “lyrics over dance.” I did hear you saying we can all afford to run our kids programs through a challenge-filter. It is possible to have movement to the point of distraction. It is not possible to have too much of the Word of God on our lips. The goal is to make sure we are keeping things in balance and being complete in our teaching about how to respond to God. Dance, run, shout and sing, but be sure it is born of the Word of God. A good reminder for us all.

    4. Christopher totally agree. – worship is a time for us to teach kids the magnificence of Christ actions can help that but we must careful they nor anything else ever detracts from truth.

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