We’re finishing up a week of camp today. Harvest has been leading worship for 150 kids (and leaders) for the last four days. During our Harvest meetings, it’s been noted that the 4th, 5th and 6th graders really do connect with motions at this camp. And really, I haven’t found a camp in this age group not to connect. At times, the older kids may not connect if there are also several young grades with them in attendance (but that’s a different post on group / age dynamics).
Whether you are leading children’s worship, a summer camp, or a youth retreat, motions to songs can be helpful and energizing. Not every song has to have motions, but here are some reasons they are extremely helpful in this setting and in children’s ministry worship leading in general.
Concrete Worship Experiences
Motions to songs help create a concrete worship experience for kids and youth. Worship is more than just singing. It’s opening our hearts, lifting our hands, indeed, living our lives as living sacrifices. When we add motions to a few songs in worship, kids are able to have more concrete experiences. In addition to singing, they are moving and the combination is powerful. It also opens a door to more freedom in worship as they grow.
They Are Fun
Motions help make songs fun. Every camp I have ever been to has some sort of motion to a song somewhere. Kids lift hands, clap, or do some other orchestrated thing that makes the songs fun.
Easier To Remember
Motions help children remember the lyrics to the song more efficiently and effectively. Adding in actions increases the muscle memory as kids are learning. Kids are definitely sponges – they are quick learners. While adults helping in children’s worship are just barely catching on, the kids have the motions down pat!
Connect Singing Words To Living Them
Motions help connect singing the words to living the words. The goal of faith in discipleship is not just to know what to do, but to actually do it. Motion songs help kids live out the words they are singing. It also helps build a sense of community as kids can see others around them engaging in worship with them.
Level The Playing Field
Motions to songs helps level the playing field – involving kids who may not care too much about music, but think it’s fun to do motions.
Motions help keep active kids more focused. When you’re just singing, a kid’s mind can wander. But if you add motions to it, the kids who have trouble staying connected are encouraged to stick with it.
When I was in sixth grade, I learned how important motion songs were as I led younger kids in our church. Back then (in the 80’s) the two big hits for children’s worship were Father Abraham and I’m In The Lord’s Army (though it may have been that those were the only two songs I knew). The kids sang those songs week in and week out!
In case you’re interested, here are some of the songs we used this week: Open Up The Heavens, Happy Day, Your Love, Pharoah Pharoah, Walk With You, Super Hero and a few more. Some other songs didn’t have defined motions such as Fierce, Holy Spirit, King of Heaven, Oh Our Lord, Good Good Father, and others, but kids really engaged and sang! (See Samples Below)
Insights into Leading Kids in Worship
A Free Kids Song; The Light Kids Conference
Kids Worship Music From Harvest
Subscribe to Tim Price Blog Updates
Harvest Motions Songs
ONLINE MOTION SONG VIDEOS (download immediately)
Take a look at previews of all the online videos available here.
You You You
and many more!
SONGS ON YOUTUBE
HARVEST MINISTRY TEAMS | TROY, IL