For years, children’s choirs have taken the same path as most church choirs – learn a piece and perform it in a service.
It’s no secret church choirs are dying – the fact that the choral music industry has dried up is one indicator. Choirs who insist on performing are not in step with the times – today it’s all about singing TO God and leading the congregation. I once wrote about how a worshipping choir will often sing background vocals behind a worship leader much like you see in Hillsong and Gateway Worship videos. One irate music director emailed me with “how DARE you ask me to regulate these saints of God to being mere backup singers!” I wonder if that guy still has his job. For more on worshipping choirs please check out Dave Williamson.
Now that worship is replacing performance, I’m seeing the same trend in children’s music. Kids leading kids in a children’s service is a pretty common occurrence, but several churches I know are trying to integrate a kid’s praise team into their Sunday morning adult service.
If you’d like to explore this idea, here are a few suggestions. Form a kid’s praise team and let them learn a short set of two or three songs and invite them to open your service as a call to worship. This isn’t a time for kids to act up on stage while parents gush “Awww, aren’t they cute!” but a serious worship time. Break for a few announcements and continue on with your adult praise team.
On special occasions, try combining your kid’s praise team with your adult praise team. For instance, in my Jesus Is His Name Christmas medley I have the kids starting by themselves and then are joined by the adult praise team and female worship leader on the chorus and the rest of the song. It segues into the kids leading 2 verses of Infant Holy, Infant Lowly with the adults joining them again for the end of the song.
An arrangement like this gives kids the fun opportunity to sing in “big church” with the adults. They’re featured yet don’t have to carry the whole set by themselves.
Are you integrating kids into your adult worship services? Tell me more in the comments below.