In the adult choir rehearsals, at Community Bible Church, we begin with a time of worship. It moves our minds from the busy pace of the day to the things of God. It prepares our hearts to hear from Him, and sets the stage for Him to work throughout the rehearsal.
We also do the same thing with Children’s Choir. We’ve found beginning with a fast song (with fun choreography) gets the wiggles out and captures the kids’ attention. We read a Bible verse out loud, and we use stories they identify with. We talk about a variety of subjects — from superheroes, puppies and soccer to Spongebob, video games and Taylor Swift. Then we translate that idea to a concept on God’s character or an aspect of worship. We end with a worship song and pray out loud together. The goal is to keep the whole thing very interactive and as tangible as possible.
One Wednesday night, the fifth grade kids arrived particularly rowdy from their previous class. After the first worship song, the presence of God had settled them down and we said, “Listen! Look around you! Do you remember how chaotic it was in here five minutes ago? Now we are peaceful and ready to learn. The presence of the Lord brings order and sharpens our minds and attention.”
After the worship set each week, one of volunteers, Jennifer, leads the music teaching portion for the fifth grade choir. She recently said, “Tonight was different.” I responded, “How? Were they more attentive? Did they sing better?” When she said yes to both, I replied, “It’s the worship. They are really beginning to understand what worship is, and His presence is changing them.” To me, that is worth than any other accomplishment…on the planet.
In another rehearsal, our devotion was on the song “Bring My Praise” which is found in the new LifewayWorship curriculum, Children’s Worship Series (CWS). I wrote the song after hearing songwriter/worship leader Michael Neale speak about the importance of every choir member. Here is an excerpt from the devotion:
Did you know that God put a heart of praise in every single one of you? God created you to praise Him and no one can do it for you. Look at the person beside you. Do they look like you? Do they act like you? If God wanted us all to praise Him the same way, He would have made us all the same. But He didn’t! Each of us is special to God.
Let’s read this verse from Psalm 139:16:
“You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
No one can praise Him like you can. No one can serve Him like you can. No one can love Him like you can. You may think, “If I don’t praise Jesus, who cares?” I care and God cares, and if you don’t praise God, then part of His praise is missing. Let’s not leave Jesus wanting our praise. Let’s praise Him together right now.
You knew me before I was born / You made me special in Your eyes You taught me how to sing Your praise / You listen when I call Your name / No one else can bring my praise but me / No one else can give my offering / You have put a love song deep inside of me / No one else can bring my praise but me.
God will miss your praise if you don’t bring it to Him. You are special. He loves you and wants to hear. From you.
This article was originally published at cbcmusicblog.wordpress.com on March 3, 2011 by Amanda Singer. Amanda is theVocal Music Pastor/Kids Choir Director at Community Bible Church, in San Antonio, Texas. Along with Ray Jones and Craig Adams, Amanda is creating Lifeway Worship’s new children’s choir curriculum – Children’s Worship Series (CWS). She oversees the programming in choirs for ages 4 through fifth grade. Her passion for raising up a new generation of worship leaders takes the CBC kids choirs outside the walls of the church and into the community to spread the news of Jesus Christ. She and her husband Gary have two boys – Tyler & Cory.