I’ve spent this past week at summer camp with 109 campers ranging from 1st through 6th grade. It’s always a joy to watch kids get into a space that is solely designed to grow closer to Jesus. Their faith is strengthened and their relationships with the Lord grow more intimate. As we gathered in the chapel this week every morning and every night, I joined my voice with over a hundred little other voices to praise our Savior and King. But mostly, this week, I’ve had to cease my own voice and simply listen to these kids worship.
My favorite thing to do is to watch and listen to them sing. And it’s special in a place like camp. These kids are flourishing in their newfound independence and when it’s time to sing, they aren’t standing next to Mom and Dad being prompted to stand alongside them. They are standing on their own. They are being led by the Holy Spirit to kneel in prayer. They are freely raising their hands in worship and lifting in their voices up to God. I’m thankful for spaces like this. (Insert shameless plug for Camp Pinehill in Bennettsville, SC).
It is humbling to think about how God must feel when he hears these young children sing to Him. He views each of us as His children and loves to hear us proclaim His goodness and faithfulness. But He must think that the sweetest sound is the throng of voices of His youngest children singing His praises.
A couple of important things happen when our children freely worship. The first is that the church is strengthened. Children must learn to enter God’s holy presence and when they learn this valuable lesson the church is building on its foundation of trusting Christ and resting in HIm. 1 Peter 2:5 says, “you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” This verse declares us to be living stones – a spiritual house. We are being built up as the living kingdom of a holy God. When our children join us in worshiping Him, that kingdom grows a little bigger.
Also, when our children worship, heaven rejoices. Luke 15:10 tells us, “I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” The Bible says that even the angels rejoice when a sinner repents and turns back to God. Repentance is the first step in coming alive in Christ. When our children repent and turn to God in Spirit and Truth through worship Heaven rejoices.
Imagine the sound – the mighty roar – that explodes in Heaven when a child repents. And then imagine as the Lord bends low to listen to children declare their love for Him. I get goosebumps when I hear children singing loudly and sincerely “I love you, Lord!” If we are moved in our souls by that sound, how do you think the Lord Himself responds?
We must foster environments where children are free to worship their Savior. It may look like creating space in their routines for daily quiet time with the Lord. It may look like a regular kid friendly worship service at our church. It may include high octane and loud praise and worship music. It may be a quiet moment of simple prayer. Whatever it looks like in your home and in your church, don’t miss the moments of allowing your children worship the King.
And when that happens, stop and listen. Take it in. Revel in the sound of the next generation praising the Lord Almighty. I hope it will impact your perspective of worship in the same way it has impacted mine.
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