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Guest Article by Yancy - Developing the Palates of Children



Today's article is written by my friend, Yancy. She is one of the leading voices in kids' worship.

Need some help with your children's worship time? If so, Yancy is the person you need to connect with. She offers great resources for children's ministry leaders and pastors.

You can contact Yancy through her Facebook page or at her website - https://yancyministries.com.

I have led worship for every age. Birth til death is how I like to put it. There are nuances about leading every age, but I am fully convinced children are the easiest group to lead in worship. It's naturally in us to worship. It's naturally in us to be drawn to the things of God and the heart of our Father.

Kids are closest to the beginning line. They've allowed less junk in to harden their hearts to the Lord and push Him away.

Plenty of churches have their challenges still and maybe even a group of kids on the back row trying hard to not engage and possibly even rolling their eyes. Any push back you have comes down to three things. #1 - What have you taught them about worship? Do you tell them why you do it and most importantly how to do it? #2 - What does your music sound like? Song choices, song recordings and production style can make a huge difference. Is it lame or hokey? Have you been doing the same songs for the past 20 years? All things to consider. #3 - Who do you have leading them? Is it someone older kids would want to be like? Do they respect them? If you don't have anyone leading them, that is something I would work fast to change. They need a leader. They need a model of worship, someone pointing them the way and inviting them to join the song of praise. Without it, they are just going to watch the song video because that's what we do when we're at home. We sit and watch - we don't stand and dance to it. When I am leading worship at an event such as camp or VBS, the first session tells me a lot about what the kids experience on Sundays in their churches. How they respond and engage with me off the bat tells me where they're at and often, how little they know about what worship time is really all about. So, I start drawing a box for them and fill it with the understanding of why we worship and what our posture should look like. I invite them to take a step and session by session we start walking and they start engaging. I watch the shift happen. It's amazing how far they can come in only a few services. I go to a church with a lot of Australians on staff and one of the Pastors shared about Vegemite. It’s an Australian food staple. He shared it’s as common to a kid as our peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Now, I’ve been to Australia and tasted the famous Vegemite and was not a fan. My Pastor went on to share that the reason an Australian loves and is drawn to the non-sweet, savory flavor of Vegemite and the American shrugs it off saying “it’s gross” is their palate was formed to love it. They started eating it when they were young and it’s something they have learned to love. I immediately thought of my southern roots and the delicacy that I consider to be of Boiled Peanuts. If you’ve ever driven to the beach in Florida you’ve likely seen them set up at the gas station. Huge pots where they’re making this salty goodness. Those that haven’t grown up with this flavor might judge and say “it’s slimy” or “they’re gross” but not to me. I grew up eating them and it’s a food that is considered a treat to me. My palate was formed to love it. This got me thinking about our ministries and our times of leading kids in worship. How are we forming palates to love the presence of God? How are we week in and week out developing a hunger in our kids to press in and draw close to the Father. Children’s ministry works hard to develop a lot of Biblical character in kids as it should. If I’m honest, I think one of the characteristics of a Christ follower, that it has worked to develop the least, is that of a worshiper. We are living in a crazy world. I believe now more than ever our kids need the hiding place that can be found in God’s presence. Teach them week by week, song by song why they were created to worship. Show them how to express their worship by modeling it and leading them. Most of all, prayerfully consider how you can form their palate to hunger for the things of God. I developed a five lesson curriculum to help you teach kids the heart of worship. It truly is a game-changer and will be eye opening for both the kids and your leaders. Learn more and view a sample lesson at YancyMinistries.com/Heartbeat. Written by Yancy ©2021 Yancy Ministries, Inc. BIO: Yancy is a worship leader and songwriter for kids that travels the globe doing family concerts and training worship leaders. Every week, her songs are used in thousands of churches around the world. Yancy has a passion to serve the Church which is why she created “Heartbeat”, a five lesson curriculum series to teach kids the heart of worship. Her beloved “Little Praise Party” series for young kids newest project is “Ready, Set, Go”. She lives with her husband and sons in Nashville, TN. YancyMinistries.com.

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