Children’s Church:Child Care or Kids Worship? Conversation with Todd Capps.
This past Friday night I had the rare privilege to sit down with Todd Capps, Editorial Project Leader for Worship Kidstyle, the children’s worship curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources. Admittedly, the conversation was mostly me throwing as many questions as I could at Todd within a one hour time frame. Within the course of conversation, he shared a little of his passion, and frustration, with many church’s attitude about Children’s Worship. He stated that too often Children’s Church or similar programs serve only as a way to remove the distraction of children from the main worship service. In a way, Todd expressed, Children’s Church becomes more like child care or babysitting. No doubt that parents benefit from being able to focus while in congregational worship. Yet, this is low on the list of advantages and priorities of a strong, children’s worship ministry. In my opinion, this is more of a perk than a purpose.
So, what are the guidelines and goals which will turn Sunday morning into worship for kids?
Todd was very gracious in providing me one of his copies of Kids Ministry 101:Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. This book is a collaboration of entries from experts and equippers within the field of Children’s and Family Ministry. Todd, himself, has an article in which he shares some basic principles about leading children in worship. He notes the following considerations:
- Rely on the Holy Spirit. Listen to God as you plan and lead worship.
- Maintain high expectations of leaders. Leaders will live up to the expectations placed on them.
- Remember the levels of learning of the kids.
- Provide a variety of learning activities.
- Use the Bible and guide kids to use their Bibles.
- Involve the kids.
- Utilize simple vocabulary.
- Select appropriate Bible passages.
- Utilize a variety of teaching methods.
- Provide quality space.
- Realize children’s worship is not baby-sitting. Resist a “let’s take care of the kids while parents attend worship” mentality.
- Realize children’s worship is not a “let’s play big church” time. Children’s worship should be designed as worship on the kids’ levels, not adult worship designed for children to “play church.”
My many thanks goes out to Todd, and the rest of the staff at Lifeway Christian Resources, for taking time to encourage and equip. Also, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Kids Ministry 101:Practical Answers to Questions About Kids Ministry. It is an up-to-date, knowledgeable book which provides a foundation for the church and it’s leadership in the area of Children’s Ministry.