Kids Ministry - it puts a certain picture in your mind. Things like small, loudly decorated rooms with a musty smell of used carpet. Toys that have worn paint and are probably in desperate need of a deep cleaning. Kids Music: don't get me started. It's just cheesy. And the church was asking me to lead Kids Worship. Uhhm, no thanks.
That was my initial reaction, but upon further soul-searching, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I needed to step up and lead these children in worship of our risen King. The truth is, this is a great honor and privilege.
When Dusty and I first started attending the Austin Stone Community Church, we began serving in KIDS ministry. They had the greatest need for volunteers because there were so many babies, toddlers, and kids at South Campus. It seems everyone was having babies, and of course, we were no exception. Dusty helped take care of the toddlers, and I lead worship for 3rd through 5th grade in large-group. This all began about a year ago today. During this time the worship team at Austin Stone began working on a worship album for the KIDS ministry. I began by leading from acoustic guitar and playing with tracks, but there were hardly any good songs appropriate for leading kids in worship. That's when I heard about the album and began leading these original songs. The children director's husband at South Campus put together some tracks for these original songs. I was able to lead the kids at Austin Stone in worship using these new songs. These songs are not hype. They are written with lyrical content that is rich in truth straight from scripture. The songs are written with excellence and we also sing them in corporate worship because, well, they aren't just for kids. I tell this story because I am thrilled to see how God will use these songs for the praise of his great name. I am excited to see the word of God planted through song in the hearts of children everywhere. The record will be released this coming Friday!
Leading worship for KIDS ministry was convicting in the best way possible. What I mean is this: oftentimes KIDS ministry is minimized, but yet, these young ones are in the most transformative moments in their lives. Jesus told us to come to him as little children for a reason. Children don't have reservations, they hear truth, and they respond. In Luke 18 Jesus says:
But Jesus called them to him, saying,“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”
When I look into Sawyer's eyes and see that he trusts what I tell him without reservations, it's terrifying and incredible at the same time. There is much to be learned from our kids. You can tell us adults something over and over and we still won't get it (just ask my wife). What we learn in our younger years stays with us. It makes us who we are. Serving the next generation in kids ministry has massive eternal effects. Honesty, I did not realize this until I served in KIDS ministry last year. Because of this I am beyond excited for these new songs God has given the Austin Stone to share with the world. Kids everywhere will be singing His praises! Oh yeah, and did I mention there are dance videos?
God is good and His ways are higher than ours!