Last week I posted an article explaining that as children understand how obedience is lived in their everyday lives, they’ll see worship as the natural outflow of obedience and a major part of their everyday lives. In that article, I talked about Able, Seth and Noah and how they were obedient real worshipers! It is so easy to present “worship” as what we do when we sing songs at church on Sunday, but if we want the children in our churches to have a fuller understanding of worship, they also need to know that real worship involves giving of our whole selves.
Stop and think about it. On a typical Sunday morning, what part of the morning do you call “worship”? Singing is a way we can worship God, but worship is so much more than just singing.
The Book of Leviticus is all about instructing and teaching people how to worship God through their offerings. An offering was a gift brought to God as an act of worship. We don’t bring animal sacrifices to church on Sundays . . . and I’m sure we are all quite happy about this! But, we do have other gifts we can offer to God. Children know their parents put money in the “offering plate” on Sunday mornings – talk with them about how this type of offering is something we do to worship God. While children can and do bring money for the offering, too, it is important to help them know the offering of their whole selves is a fragrant sacrifice of worship which pleases God. [e.g., Ephesians 5; I Peter 2.]
So, which people from the Bible gave their whole selves to God? Consider Caleb.
Children may not know a lot about Caleb, but the Bible tells us, in Joshua 14, Caleb,
“followed the LORD, the God of Israel, wholeheartedly.”
Caleb chose to obey God and follow God with his all . . . even when nearly everyone around him wanted to run away. Caleb was faithful!
Josiah is another Bible person who gave his whole self to God! 2 Kings 22, 23 tell us the account of this boy who at the age of 8 became king. Even though he was just a child the Bible tells us he chose to do,
“what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.” At his death in 2 Kings 23:25 we read, “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the LORD as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.”
Caleb and Josiah are just two examples of Bible people who chose to worship God by giving their all to God! This is a major part of worship! In fact, if we do not give our all to God, we can’t worship Him. How can we encourage the children in our church to make daily giving their all to God part of their worship of Him?
Worship in class –
- Allow time for Small Group Shepherds/teachers to share with the children why they give their all as a volunteer.
- Talk with children about what they can do each day to give their whole selves in worship to God.
- As leaders model worship through giving their all, allow them to lead the children in a time of worship through music.
Worship in church –
- Present volunteers as people who worship God with their all. Along with worshiping with music, set aside time each week, every other week or at least once a month to showcase those in your church who give with their whole selves as worship to God!
Worship in class and church –
- The purpose of the Psalms are for prayer, praise and teaching. So allow children/classes to give their all by volunteering to choose a psalm and lead their class/church in praying it back to God.
- On the Sunday you focus on worship as the result of giving your all, allow children and their Small Group Shepherds/teachers to lead the musical worship or at least one or two songs.
Next week I’ll finish this topic with looking at how we worship God by loving God and others!