I just finished reading an amazing book by Kathleen Chapman, titled Teaching Kids Authentic Worship. I have two young boys, who are 9 and 13. They are at a crucial time when they are deciding how important God is and will be in their lives. My wife and I feel the huge weight of responsibility to teach them God’s Word and God’s way. After having read this book, we now also feel more than ever the huge necessity of teaching them God’s worship.
Mrs. Chapman makes several statements that have become galvanized in my mind and heart. One which stands out immediately is that salvation is (of course) the number one priority to teach children. And following very closely behind in the number two spot is to teach our kids what, why and how to worship God. At the end of Chapter 2, she writes, “If children spend five minutes a day worshiping and adoring Almighty God, it will become part of who they are and who they grow to be. They will fall in love. It will begin the lifelong process that will forever glue them to God.”
In Chapter 4, we are encouraged to ask children key questions that help them focus their attention on God. Chapman says, “Be prepared for some discouragement in the beginning. Most kids know very little about God.” Then she gives 3 questions we can use for a simple questionnaire:
- Who is God?
- What are several things you love most about Him?
- What does He specialize in? (What is He known for?)
Chapman’s definition of worship is unique. She contends that “The act of worship is focusing on Almighty God and Him alone. It’s the act of assigning to God His true worth.” She goes on to make a rather convincing argument that worship is focusing only on God. While I don’t disagree with her definition, I believe she misapplies it to some degree. She says, for example, that “singing isn’t worship unless the song is about God alone.” She is emphatic that our songs, our thoughts, and our words can’t even mention ourselves if they are to be considered worship to God. I disagree with her understanding of praise as being about us and therefore not worship. (I have written many times in other places on the definition of worship and praise, so I need not explain it here.)
Nonetheless, please do not allow that discrepancy to keep you from devouring this book and using it with your children, grandchildren and within your church. Our church is planning to order several copies and give to our children’s church workers. Our pastor is beginning a series on the names of God soon. This book offers some incredible ideas of how to teach children worship by teaching them about His names. The last chapter is called 52 Worship Moments. This one chapter is well worth the price of the book! We plan to ask our children’s leaders to use some of these practical, powerful and simple object lessons, Bible stories, and dramas to teach our kids about worship.
I give this book a 4.5 out of 5! Order your copy today!