A few months ago we did something completely out-of-the-ordinary for our church. We handed the service over to the kids. All but the sermon, that is. They greeted. They passed out bulletins. They led the worship. One said the morning prayer. A few did the announcements. All in all, it went surprisingly well. It was a great chance for the kids to feel like they were a real part of the body of Christ (they are, after all!). It was also a great time for the congregation to see what super kids we have here at church!
Interested in something similar at your church? Here’s a few tips to consider:
Practice, Practice, Practice!
After we picked out the songs for the day, we practiced them about a month before hand. We do motions with our songs, and that seems to help kids learn the songs better. I’m a big fan of sign language (I get my motions at aslpro.com) — this keeps the motions consistent for all the songs. Even with all that practice, I still stood in the back of the sanctuary to do the motions for the kids as they did them on stage. This helped with the stage fright factor.
Pick appropriate songs.
Older congregation members aren’t going to want to dance around and spin during worship time — especially if you have a pretty traditional church. We did some upbeat versions of hymns and a few slower choruses.
Try to fit in something personal or fun.
Our pastor is a big cowboy hat fan and he loves to say the phrase “God is good all the time. All the time, God is good!”. We sang the song God is Good (Group Publishing), but before we started, we had all the kids put on cowboy hats. Everyone got a big kick out of that.
Train Your Greeters and Ushers
It’s one thing to watch greeters and ushers each week. It’s quite another to actually do the job! Have older kids do these jobs and have a “practice service” where they can perfect their skills before the big day. Recruit a few congregation members to act like they are attending a church service and have kids greet them and pass the offering plate like it’s the real deal.
Write Announcements Down
For kids who are doing announcements, give them a notecard with their announcement on it. This will help with stage fright. Also, you might want to write on the top, “You go after….” and fill in the appropriate name.
Have a Stage Director
Recruit one of your team members to let kids know when to go on stage, when to come down, and everything in between. You want the service to flow smoothly, so this part is pretty important.
Pray, Pray, Pray!
Of course, cover the day in prayer. You may draw in some parents, grandparents or other family members that don’t normally attend. What a great opportunity to show them that everyone is important in the body of Christ.
Hope it goes well for you!