Teaching Kids Authentic Worship - Book Review
- Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Author: Kathleen Chapman
Publisher: Baker Book House Company
A heartbreaking exodus is occurring every day in churches throughout the country – young adults who had participated actively in church as kids are leaving without turning back. In her 30 years working in children’s ministries, author Kathleen Chapman writes that she has, “seen virtually every gimmick used to keep kids interested in church – cutting-edge marketing tactics, high-tech worship, and low-pressure religious strategies. Yet these ploys haven’t made much impact; kids continue to walk away from God.”
Chapman decided to search for the “glue” that would keep kids connected to Christ for their whole lives. And after years of research during which she surveyed many young people, she writes, she discovered it – worshipping God. Worship, writes Chapman in her book "Teaching Kids Authentic Worship: How to Keep Them Close to God for Life," isn’t about anything people do. It’s not singing songs in church, praying on retreats, or any other activity people commonly associate with the word “worship.” Rather, she writes, it’s about God alone, about focusing on Him and simply adoring Him for Who He is. And that can take many forms – even those that don’t involve music (gasp!) or prayer (bigger gasp!).
Not only do most kids misunderstand worship, writes Chapman, but adults do, too. That’s bound to strike a nerve in readers, but Chapman makes an excellent case for her belief. Her thoughts on worship are quite insightful, and should motivate parents who read this book to renew their own worship as well as that of their children.
Chapman points out that it’s easy for kids to worship sports or entertainment heroes, or for teens to worship members of the opposite sex. Young people are quite capable of devotion, she writes, and adults need only to help them direct that passion toward God.
The book includes 52 ideas for worship activities, and although some are redundant, many are creative and fun. Parents and teachers should be able to find lots of good ideas here to get children focused on God.
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