I was browsing through Twitter and something caught my eye. Lindsay Thompson tweeted something on the #KidMin hashtag that had already been on my mind. This is what she said.
Lindsay Thompson @lindsay_marie21
“Worship is not forced upon, but brought of, a child.” #kidmin
It seems like such a simple statement, but at the same time, it is so profound. I had already been thinking of this exact thing, just from a different point of view.
I also go in the youth service in our church. Lately, the youth have been going through a bible study program. One week the study was talking about reading the bible. Each of the youth had their own reasons why they didn’t read the bible. For some, there was just absolutely no time to read the bible. Others didn’t like to read — at all. Even if they tried to read, they couldn’t stick with it long because they couldn’t stand reading, no matter what the content might be.
This made me start thinking about the kids that I teach on Sunday Mornings. I want them to learn Bible stories and concepts. I drill into their heads that they should be memorizing the memory verse for the week because they will find that verse so helpful at some point in their lives, but they just aren’t interested. They don’t see the reason at this point. It’s just more work. They’d rather be playing outside or on PlayStation. The thing I want them to do sounds like just more school. They get enough of that during the week.
Am I saying that we should stop trying to get them to do these things? Absolutely not. It IS important. They WILL need these things in their lives. The question is in how we get them to do these things. Do we want them to do these things during our kids ministry time just because we tell them to? Or, do we want them to learn to love and even crave these things so that they start praying, reading their bible, and worshiping on their own at home?
Hopefully we are all in agreement that we want them to choose to do these things. So, how do we do that?
I admit. I’m famous for telling kids to “stand up..stand up…do the motions with us…” while we are singing our Praise and Worship songs. But, do we really want them participating in worship because they are made to do so?
Instead of almost forcing them to memorize memory verses, there must be a way that we can get them so interested in what the Bible has to say that they are excited about reading it. Instead of forcing them to participate during worship, there must be a way to get them hungry for God on their own. Instead of making them each say a sentence prayer, there must be a way to instill in their hearts that prayer is simply talking to their best friend in the whole world.
Over the next month, Twitter citizen, Lindsay Thompson has inspired me to embark on a journey. For a month, I will be exploring ideas of how we can inspire kids to willingly and eagerly engage in worship, prayer, and bible reading — for the sake of spending time with God, not for the sake of winning a prize.
What ideas do you already have about how to do this? Leave your comments below and follow this blog to find out what I discover over the course of this month.