I love when children and teens respond to God’s presence with expressions of joy, song, dance, and shout. Every summer at Camp Lex (in Lexington, NE) there’s always a lot of praising going on. I wasn’t at Kid’s Camp but saw videos where kiddos passionately expressed their love for Jesus. However, at a couple teen camps I worked in the kitchen. For me personally, the highlight of both weeks was when during evening services, teenagers uninhibitedly worshiped Jesus.
I’m thankful that at Omaha Christian Center children are part of our worship service before they’re dismissed for Children’s Church. I’m sure Jesus is thankful too since He understands the importance of their praises.
Remember the story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem? People greeted Him shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest!” After His grand entrance into the city, Jesus briefly visited the temple. (For the complete story read Matthew 21 and Mark 11.)
The next day, Jesus returned and became furious when he saw folks desecrating the temple. He got a little hot under the collar overturning tables and scattering money changers everywhere. But it didn’t end there. Read what happened next:
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes, have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” Matthew 21: 14-16 (NKJV)
Did you notice the children’s actions? They worshiped Jesus as passionately as they did the previous day. It was one thing for their parents to cry “Hosanna!” in a large throng of people with the priests a safe distance away; however it was quite another when the children didn’t hesitate to honor Him right there in the priests’ midst.
What happened when pure praise flowed from the children’s hearts? It frustrated the enemy…those who were opposed to Jesus, the True Messiah. The chief priests hated the children’s response, and yet, they were powerless to stop them.
In Matthew 21, Jesus quoted from Psalm 8:2: Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger.
Even now, one of the greatest spiritual weapons we have is the praises of our children and teens. Often, their sincere worship is more effective than any defense we adults might present. It has the ability to confound the opposition and silence their arguments. It also has the ability to soften the hardest of spirits opening the way for the Holy Spirit to minister.
I would encourage you to allow children to be in the sanctuary during your church’s worship service. If they’re in Children’s Church the entire service, then set aside time for them to sing and praise Jesus. Also, find ways to incorporate teens on your worship teams.
I wholeheartedly believe their praises can directly impact the spiritual dimension of your church.