Published: November 15, 2023
When we think of worship, we often think of singing praise songs to God. And the book of Psalms shows us that music can certainly be an act of worship! But worship goes much deeper than music alone.
Romans 12:1 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”
In other words, worship is more than singing, more than a feeling—it’s a lifestyle. It’s an all-consuming giving of ourselves to God.
In John 4:24, Jesus talks about worshipping in spirit and in truth. When we worship, it means we’re giving of ourselves to honor and respect the one true God. We’re getting to know him more and growing in our awe of him as a result.
Many people associate children’s church with worship. So we designed a brand-new program, DIG IN Children’s Church. DIG IN Children’s Church helps to lead kids in worship that goes far beyond singing, to the depths of learning the truth of Scripture and growing in relationship with God.
Worship through a Bible message.
There are a lot of curriculum options out there today that focus more on teaching moral standards than on teaching the Bible. But we believe the Bible is the absolute core of everything we do. And we want to make sure kids are actively engaged in learning the Bible story of the day.
Since Jesus said we worship in spirit and in truth, we feel that connecting with the truth of the Bible is critical to worship. So as kids learn the Bible story, they’ll relate to it in engaging and personal ways that help them experience the awe and wonder of God.
Not only that, we’ve created Bible messages to be versatile. If you use them for kids’ programming alone, great! But if you’d like to have a 10-minute children’s sermon during big church, these activities easily adapt to having kids in the front of a worship service. And by seeing your kids worship in spirit and in truth, the adults in your congregation will be changed, too. They might even join in the fun!
If you read on, you’ll see how the Bible message isn’t the only place kids learn directly from Scripture. DIG IN Children’s Church is absolutely saturated with worship through God’s Word!
Worship through a Jesus connection.
What sets the Christian faith apart is that we worship Jesus. God in the flesh, come to live among us. Our Savior. But so much of the Bible happens before Jesus ever came to earth!
That’s why we feel like it’s important to help kids worship Jesus no matter what Bible story they’re learning. From the beginning, sending Jesus to save us has been God’s plan. So with the Jesus Connection activity block, kids will see how the gospel story is woven throughout the whole Bible. They’ll see how Jesus connects to everything they learn from the Bible. And they’ll worship their Savior.
Worship through prayer experiences.
For some kids, prayer can seem a little bit boring. “Close your eyes and fold your hands.” “Sit still and ask God for what you want.” But we know prayer is so much more than asking God for stuff! It’s a conversation with the Creator of the universe! And authentically connecting with God is the ultimate act of worship.
That’s why we’ve created experiences that allow kids to practice praying in a variety of ways, about a variety of topics. They’ll pop up and praise God. Or they might go for a prayer walk around the room. Sometimes they’ll sit and listen for God’s voice. They’ll give thumbs-up and thumbs-down as they talk with God about their feelings.
And through these repeated prayer experiences, we believe kids will grow more and more comfortable talking with God. They’ll practice prayer at church so they can do it at home, too. The more kids connect with God, the more they’ll grow in their awe and worship of him.
Group’s Friends With God: Discover How to Pray is also a great resource to give to children to show kids just how easy it is to talk with God—anytime, anywhere, and in so many ways.
Worship through building Scripture skills.
Psalm 1:2 blesses people who “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” But it seems like many of the kids we serve lack Bible skills, making it harder for them to delight in the law of the Lord! We wanted to help kids fall in love with God’s Word, and worship him through a love of Scripture.
In our Scripture Skills activity block option, we’ve given step-by-step instructions to help kids navigate a Bible. We hope that in time, kids will learn how to use their Bible on their own.
But that’s not all. Finding a verse is only half of using your Bible. Just ask the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8! Understanding what you read is critical, too. So kids will use engaging experiences that will help them comprehend the verses they read.
Use Bible memory to create a love of God’s Word.
Psalm 119:11 tells us, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Scripture Skills helps kids navigate their Bibles, but we also think there’s incredible value in planting that Scripture in kids’ hearts.
So often, Bible memory focuses on rote memorization. I’ve served in a ministry where kids got lollipops for memorizing the verse. Kids would put the verse into their short-term memory, just long enough to earn their candy. But when asked what the verse meant (or when asked to recite it just a few minutes later), it was gone.
In DIG IN Children’s Church, Bible memory isn’t about earning lollipops. It’s not about putting God’s Word in our heads—for the short-term or the long-term. It’s about hiding God’s Word in kids’ hearts. We use worshipful activities that help kids understand the verse as they learn and repeat the words. Plus, kids learn the same verse for at least four weeks, giving them time to truly store it in their hearts.
We believe that taking away extrinsic rewards like lollipops and Bible bucks refocuses the purpose of Bible memory on a love of God’s Word and desire to worship God through knowing his Word.
Worship through purposeful activity pages.
For years, people have been asking Group for coloring pages and puzzle pages in our curriculum. We’ve been hesitant to oblige because we want to make sure kids aren’t just using puzzles as time fillers or to be quizzed on rote facts about the Bible.
So we’ve reinvented activity pages to have meaning and purpose. As kids do puzzles, they’ll make discoveries about how the Bible story and point relate to their lives. They won’t simply be filling in answers; they’ll be worshipfully connecting with God and seeing how he wants to work in their lives.
We’ve also provided coloring pages for younger kids. Each page depicts the Bible story with a brief paraphrase of what happened in the story. The goal is for kids to compile their coloring pages into a picture Bible so they can continue to enjoy God’s Word—with their very own artwork.
Worship through music.
Of course we can’t leave music out of the equation. While some churches have kids in “big church” for worship songs, others have kids the whole time and want to provide age-appropriate music. DIG IN Children’s Church has everything you need! Our music videos show kids leading engaging hand motions, so kids use their voices and bodies to worship God through song.
Here are some tips on how to lead worship for kids and make sure kids are engaged. You can also purchase worship videos through Group.com here. They feature lyrics at the top and kid friendly motions.
Don’t waste extra time.
We’ve all been there. We’ve finished the lesson, but, rumor is, the sermon is running long. Really long. So we grab the crayons and Legos. Or we play an impromptu game of Simon Says to fill time.
DIG IN Children’s Church includes meaningful “overtime” games and experiences. These activities are designed to run for as long as you need them to—from a couple of minutes to whenever the service finally wraps up. They can even end gradually as some kids leave and other kids wait for their parents.
Best of all, these experiences are always no prep, no supplies—so if you don’t get time for them, you haven’t wasted any effort getting ready.
Your time with kids is so precious and so limited. If you’ve been given extra time because of a long service, don’t waste it with time fillers! Make every second worshipful by using meaningful overtime activities that take the lesson even deeper.
Give it a try!
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