Leading preschoolers in worship can be a little like herding cats at times. You want them to clap with you, and they just want to run in circles. It’s enough to make you want to lose your religion . . . well, not entirely. Really, it just leaves you with a lot of questions. Some of which were brought to our attention at this year’s Orange Conference. So, we thought we’d answer them for all of you out there that are probably wondering the same things.
How often and how long should I plan for leaders to practice for worship?
It’s helpful to email the song selections for the week (or month) along with the lyrics and hand motions to your leaders. This gets all of the valuable information into their hands so they can all learn it as time permits in their schedules and also at their own pace. Then, have them come in on Sunday morning 30 minutes before your service time begins. This will give them time to run through the songs before they actually have to perform them live for your preschoolers.
Do you rotate your worship songs, or do the preschool kids have to learn new songs constantly?
First Look always gives you one song to download that you can find under the “Music Resources” tab on the First Look Curriculum Matrix. We also give you the hand motions, lyrics and chord charts should you choose to perform the song live. In addition to the one song available for download, we suggest two other songs for you to use with each month’s curriculum. These songs are usually available on Amber Sky Records, our very own music website. However, you may already have them in your records from past months.
While we suggest these two extra songs, we realize that your preschoolers may have some favorites of their own that they know really well. If that’s the case, we invite you to substitute those songs for the two suggested songs. Just like every other part of First Look, worship is totally editable. So, do what you need to do to have a worship time that fits into your environment and reaches your preschoolers.
If you are not musically talented, can you lead preschool worship?
Absolutely! You can use the written words found in the worship script and use the Wherever I Go Dance Moves DVD in place of the songs. The lyrics, music and hand motions are all right there for you; all you have to do is push “PLAY.” The song that we provide for you in the curriculum each month also comes with a full mix option so you can teach the hand motions that are provided and then simply play the song. In fact, we recommend using the full-mix as much as possible, as it frees up the leader to concentrate on the motions and interacting with the preschoolers.
We currently have Pre-K through 4th in worship together. What are the first steps to transitioning to a worship time for preschoolers?
First of all, you need to separate out the preschoolers from the elementary. You can do this by separating them into totally different rooms if you have space available. If space is an issue, move them to two different sides or corners of a shared space but have their worship times be separate. You can use the same worship leaders for both ages while working toward getting a set that is devoted to each age group. First Look has a product that can help fill the gaps while you’re trying to find volunteers for your preschool worship time. It’s called the Wherever I Go Dance Moves DVD and it is packed with songs, words and motions that are easily accessible with the push of a button.
How do you lead worship for preschoolers at your church?