Our new Worship Together collection for kids features some of the top songs in Christian music today. Kid’s ministry expert Rhonda Frazier has compiled a list of fun activities inspired by the songs in this new release.
The lessons and activities can be used in large groups, small groups, or, in some cases, as early arrival activities. Choose the best option for your group and your resources. Some of the activities can be spread out over several rehearsal sessions.
Hymn Study—“It Is Well With My Soul”
Pull out the hymnals if your church has them, or provide your students with a copy of the original hymn “It Is Well With My Soul.” Ask the kids to look for the following information:
Writer: Horatio G. Spafford
Composer: Philip P. Bliss
Read the lyrics of the song. In the 101 Hymn Stories by Kenneth W. Osbeck, Osbeck relates the details surrounding the writing of “It Is Well With My Soul.” Spafford planned a trip to Europe for his family in 1873. Business commitments kept him from traveling with his wife and four daughters. He sent them on the trip with plans to take another ship in a few days. His wife and girls were sailing on the S.S. Ville du Havre. A few days into the trip, this ship was hit by another ocean vessel. The S.S. Ville du Havre “sank in twelve minutes.” There were survivors, among them Mrs. Spafford, but the four girls drowned. Spafford booked a voyage on another ship to meet his wife. “It is thought that on the sea near the area where his four daughters had drowned, Spafford penned this text whose words so significantly describe his own personal grief.
Do you see which of the lyrics may be referring directly to his loss? Does he remain in his mourning and grief in the lyrics or does he move on to other topics? If so, what? What does the chorus tell you about the writer’s trust in God? Think of the hardest thing you have been through so far. Can you, too, say that “It is well?” If not, what can you do to trust Jesus more?
Pray with your students. Let them share their thoughts. How would they have responded? How have they seen others respond to grief and loss? Who gives us hope?
Freedom Dance Party—“Alive”
Inflate some balloons or beach balls and have a dance party during this song. Keep the balloons or balls in the air for the entire song.
Provide poster board, foam brushes, and paints so the kids can work together to make key signs that can be used during the performance of “Alive.” Some key phrases to include are: “You are my freedom!” “Your love!” “You are alive!” “Nothing can take Your Place!” “All we need!” and “Love set us Free!” Let the kids vary the designs. If you will use them in performance, you may want to outline the letters so that they can be read from the audience, and then allow the kids to fill them in.
Who Are You?—“Good, Good Father”
Part of the message of “Good, Good Father” is reminding us that God loves us just like we are. We are completely and perfectly loved by him. If you have the capability, take an individual photo of each child, print them, and have copies the following week. The photos can be serious or silly. Encourage the kids to show their personalities in the pictures. When the pictures are ready, have other art supplies—tag board or card stock, glue, markers, and scissors.
Have the kids glue the photo of them onto the paper you provide. Have them write “I am loved by a good, good Father. It’s who I am!” You may want to prepare a couple of samples for them. For younger kids, you may want to print out the words for them to simply cut out and glue on their tag board.
The Presence of God—“Holy Spirit”
The memory verse for “Holy Spirit” comes from 2 Chronicles 5 and the dedication of the temple of God that Solomon led the people of Israel to build. On that day, the presence of God filled the temple. Read some of this account to the students and read the memory verse together. After Christ came and died for our sins, the Bible teaches us that we are the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (NIV)
The bridge of “Holy Spirit” is a prayer, “Let us become more aware of your presence.” Ask your kids to think about what they can do to become more aware of God’s presence. Ask them to look for specific times this week to pause and pray and ask for God’s presence to become real to them. It may be when they are alone in their room praying or singing. It could be while they are outside playing. It could be when a friend or family member is kind and loving or when they are kind or loving to someone. Ask them to jot it down and share it the following week. Pray with them that the presence of God would be real and powerful in their lives. Encourage them to expect to sense God’s presence. He is everywhere!
2 Chronicles 5:13-14 (NIV)
The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” Then the temple of the Lord was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the temple of God.
Encouraging Notes—“Come as You Are”
Provide students with a variety of cards or provide art supplies for them to make their own cards. Ask them to write encouraging notes to teachers, friends, family members, the elderly, residents of nursing homes, veterans, the military, missionaries, and more. Get names and addresses for them. Have Bibles or copies of encouraging verses that they can copy onto the cards. Show them how to address the notes for mailing. Provide stamps or hand deliver them.
Hallelujah Cross or Hallelujah Heart—“Forever (We Sing Hallelujah)”
Provide each student with an outline drawing of a cross or a heart. The symbol should be on standard sized paper. Provide markers, colored pencils, or crayons. Ask the kids to write the word “Hallelujah” or sections of the word until the cross or the heart is filled. Ask them to vary the colors each time they write the word. They can do block letters, script, cursive, tall letters, all caps, all lower case—whatever they want. Do a sample of each one before class to give the kids an example. As an alternate choice, they could write, “He is alive” or another phrase from the song.
What is a Lighthouse?—“My Lighthouse”
Use online resources or photos that you may have to show the kids a variety of lighthouses. What do they have in common? What differences do you see? What is the purpose of a lighthouse? To show the power of light, turn off the lights. Ask the children to close their eyes. Ask the children to open their eyes. What do they see? What’s the problem? Ask them to close their eyes again. This time while their eyes are closed, light one candle in the room. Ask them to open their eyes. What can they see? What made the difference? Even one candle? Find clipart or download outline drawings of lighthouses for the kids to color, or let them draw and design their own. Include the memory verse or other scriptures that call Jesus the “Light of the world.”
The Waiting Game—“Even So Come (Come, Lord Jesus)”
Often today, kids don’t hear much about the second coming or the return of Christ. If your church covers this regularly in the church calendar or curriculum, then you may not need to spend time on it here. However, if this topic is not talked about often, the kids may need more help understanding. A few of the scriptures below can help you talk with your students about the second coming of Christ.
If your church statement of faith includes verses related to the second coming, pull those in as well. Discuss with the kids what our job as believers is during the waiting. What are we to be doing as we wait and anticipate the return of Christ? We wait expectantly. We wait joyfully. We wait obediently. While we wait, we share the Good News with others so that they too can look for the blessed hope of Christ’s return. We ask Jesus to come and be with us in the waiting.
John 14:3 (NIV)
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Acts 1:11 (NIV)
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”; and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.” So shall it be! Amen.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV)
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
Isaiah 25:9 (NIV)
In that day they will say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.”
Titus 2:11-14 (NIV)
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Pantomime/Dance—“I Am Not Alone”
Divide the choir into small groups. Ask each group to work together to perform a dance or a pantomime for this song. Working with a small group leader, ask them to write down the movements or actions/blocking. Give them a couple of class times to work on it and rehearse it. Let them perform their versions for each other. You may even want to choose one or more of them or choose bits and pieces of each presentation and use them in a performance of the song. Be sure to credit the students with any choreography/staging that you decide to use in performance.
Memory Challenge—Psalm 23
Many of your students may already be able to recite the entire 23rd Psalm, but for those who can’t, challenge them to memorize the entire passage.
JESUS Banner—“No Other Name”
On bulletin board paper or butcher paper, write JESUS in huge block letters—the bigger, the better. Give each student different colored construction paper. Ask each to tear the construction paper into 5-8 pieces. On each piece have them write something about who Jesus is. Let them use their Bibles, the lyrics of the song “No Other Name,” and other resources to come up with their words or phrases. They may want to write out an entire verse that talks about Jesus or just the scripture reference.
When they have written their 5-8 things, let the kids glue them into the block letters to make a mosaic. Ask them to vary and spread out the placement of the colors to make the pattern more interesting. If there are still spaces left when all of their pieces have been placed, give out additional sheets of construction paper. Ask them to tear the construction paper into “filler” pieces, adding them to the empty spaces in the mosaic and gluing them down.
If your choir meets in different classes, let each class work on a different letter, or work on one letter each week until the banner is done. This is a highly adaptable project. Display the banner in your classroom and incorporate it into your performance of this song or the concert of the collection.
Art Response—“Touch the Sky”
There are powerful word pictures in the lyrics of “Touch the Sky.” After you sing the song read the related verse. Talk about some of the lyrics. What do they mean to the kids? The title phrase “Touch the Sky” may mean different things to different kids. Ask them to think and reflect and imagine what they could draw or paint to represent some of those words. Pull out all your art supplies. Put the song on repeat and let the students create an art response to the song and/or the memory verse. You may be surprised at which lyric or line evokes a response.
Statement of Faith—“This I Believe (The Creed)”
Talking about the message in “This I Believe” is a great time to expose your students to your church’s full statement of faith. Post it in your classroom and discuss the different points. Look up scriptures. Talk about how the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ are the non-negotiable tenets of faith for believers. Help the children realize that, while it may seem as if we talk a lot about what Christians “don’t do,” it is what we believe that actually defines who we are. If you have students who have never accepted Christ as Savior, this is a great time to talk with them about salvation.