One of the key things I often look for in a church is to see if the kids engage in worship.
Especially the 3rd-to-5th grade boys. The majority of the time they are standing there motionless.
It can definitely be a challenge at times to get all the kids worshiping. There are key factors that are involved in the solution.
We've talked about the "cool rolls downhill" factor. When the younger kids see the older kids worshiping, they will engage as well. So you always want to target the 5th grade boys. Get them singing and everyone else will join in.
But that's the challenge. How do you get 5th grade boys to sing? A few factors include how many men or boys are on stage helping lead? Are the songs geared for them? Are the older kids sitting up front with the younger kids behind them. Remember...cool rolls downhill. If the younger kids see the older kids singing in front of them, they will join in as well.
This past weekend, I was at a church and was observing their elementary worship service. One of the songs had a really cool, defined beat. I saw something happen spontaneously. A few of the 5th grade boys started tapping their chairs in sync with the beat in the song. Not only did it sound really cool, but the other kids saw what the "big kids" were doing and joined in. Everyone was engaged...from the youngest child to the oldest.
I have obviously seen praise teams lead the way, but this time the kids in the audience lead the way with their "home made" drums.
Next time you are leading a kids' worship service, invite the kids to join in by playing their "drums" (chairs). You might be surprised at how many kids get involved for the first time in a long time.