As a kid, I connected best and “got it” when all the kids at church would gather in the gym to sing, play interactive games, and learn from God’s Word during our weekly large group worship. I loved being with more kids than just those in my small group Bible Study class, and I loved that I got to see kids, both younger and older than me, in the same room worshipping.
As an adult and volunteer, I still love large group worship experiences and believe that a weekly large group experience for kids can be extremely impactful in the spiritual life of a kid. Whether your large group time is simply gathering in a classroom or a full-scale media production, consider these three tips as you make the message of Jesus clear to kids through worship.
Make a plan and recruit the right volunteers.
Like anything in ministry, a good plan is vital for success. Start by enlisting people who are passionate about the things you want to incorporate in your large group experience. Look for people who are good at communicating to a large group of kids, people who lead songs and motions well, folks who enjoy performing skits, or running media. These people may or may not already be serving in your ministry so intentionally cast the ministry vision wide. Share where you see your large group worship experience going then Invite these volunteers to plan alongside you. Equip and empower them to lead. Having a solid gameplan, schedule, and prepared volunteers are key to any successful large group time.
Make it kid-friendly and engaging.
A kids ministry large group experience is a great chance to create worship specifically geared for kids. As you plan, be sure to select curriculum, worship songs, and games that are age appropriate and engaging for the kids you plan to reach. If you’re unsure, do some research. Seek help from seasoned leaders. Take the time to notice what songs and activities get kids “pumped up” and which ones make them groan. No one likes to be bored and leading kids in a boring worship experience is just wrong.
Make it different.
Effective large group time can take what kids have learned in small group Bible study to the next level, so intentionally make it different. If your small group takes place in chairs around tables, consider moving to a different room and sitting on the floor. If your small group time is mostly focused on learning the facts of the Bible content, then focus large group on worship that results from those learned Bible truths with songs and a life application challenge or message.
Ultimately, effective large group worship roots everything in Scripture, seeks guidance and direction from the Holy Spirit, and then works hard to engage kids and help them grow closer to through the experience.
Micheal Walley serves as the Lifeway Kids Event Producer. He is a graduate of Mississippi College and now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Micheal has been serving in Kids Ministry from the moment he was “promoted” out of kids ministry himself. He loves coffee, leadership, all things creative, and his wife, Anne Marie.