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The power of finding the right song

Many of us have experienced all-age worship that isn’t being enjoyed by anyone. It’s hard to keep a three-year-old, 13-year-old and 83-year-old equally engaged! That’s why people often get discouraged by intergenerational worship, enduring it, rather than enjoying it.

Worship for Everyone are big believers in the power of music to unite us in worship, drawing us together as a whole community. Our vision as songwriters is to elevate children, engage adults and enjoy God together. Here are three things to consider when developing and deepening your times of sung worship:

Keep the same values
What are your worship values? Encounter with God? Adoration, intimacy? Each church will have different emphases. Don’t discard these when children are present! Keeping the same values is a key way to engage adults spiritually with what is happening. Many churches exclusively use fun and loud songs with children, but we would advocate using a wider variety of lyrical and melodic themes to allow hearts and minds to fully express themselves to God. 

Consider song selection carefully
Find songs that are simple enough for the youngest to engage with – avoiding metaphor or old language – but not so basic that adults get bored! Look for themes and melodies that can be sung by all and ideally have some action songs in the mix for the littlest who can’t yet read (and to also encourage any inhibited adults to start using their bodies in worship too!).

Speak more when children are in the room
Speak to an all-age crowd as if they are non-Christians and you’ll help keep things alive. Scrap the jargon, explain everything you’re doing and lead with clarity. You’ll end up discipling the children (and adults) in how to worship. Explain why we put our hands in front of us, invite your people to sing loudly, or close their eyes; frame what the Spirit is doing, and teach actions before expecting people to join in. 

For more ideas and resources, head to where you can find songs, books, training opportunities and other resources.

This article was printed in Multiply 2024: The Manual, a publication that accompanied the programme of Multiply 2024, which explored multiplying a younger church. You can find related content below.