I want to encourage you to stop designing your children’s ministry around what the kids want and instead give them what they need!

As a children’s ministry leader, your responsibilities include teaching the boys and girls in your church how to worship God in spirit and truth. That is what God wants, and He seeks individuals who will worship Him in the way He chooses to be worshipped.

In John 4:22-24 (ESV), Jesus says to the Samaritan woman at the well, “You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

The point of this passage is clear; God wants to be worshipped according to what He wants.

We are to worship the true and living Triune God of the Bible.  He is the object of our worship and affection. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are one God in three persons and known as the Triune God. This is the God we worship, and He wants to be worshipped in His way and on His terms, not ours.

But what does it mean to worship God in spirit and truth?

In John 4:23, the word “spirit” does not refer to the Holy Spirit but to each person’s inner human spirit. This human spirit engages our mind to think and our heart, which is where our feelings and emotions come from. So, when we worship God in spirit, He wants all of our mind, all of our emotion, all of our passion, and all of our heart and soul to be involved as we worship Him. Our body is simply a means of that expression. Worshipping in spirit is an outpouring of love, gratitude, and praise to God from within our inner human spirit as it overflows with thanksgiving, gratefulness, and appreciation to Him.

For example, in Luke 1:46-47 (ESV), Mary, the mother of Jesus, bursts into praise and proclaims, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

We are to thank God and praise Him for who He is and what He has done. To do this, we must know who God is and what He has done, and that is where truth comes in.

In addition to worshipping God in our inner human spirit, He also wants us to worship Him in truth, which means that our spirit worships God in perfect coordination, harmony, and agreement with His revealed Word of Truth, the Bible.

In our earlier example from Mary, the mother of Jesus, we learn in Luke 1:45 (ESV), “And blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

In other words, in Mary’s mind and heart, she believed the truth of God’s Word. Mary believed that God would do what He said He would do. And that resulted in her worship to God. Mary worshipped God in spirit and truth.

Remember, worshipping God in spirit and truth is when our inner human spirit aligns with the Scripture to glorify God in His way and on His terms. Anything less is unacceptable worship of our Heavenly Father. So, you see why this is so important for kids to know?

God wants us to be enthusiastic worshipers in our hearts, with the knowledge of His truth in our minds, as we give Him praise and glory.

Teach these things to the boys and girls in your children’s ministry.


1) Remember to set an example to the children in your church by modeling how to worship God in spirit and truth.

2) Ask the kids in your children’s ministry what they are thankful for. Then write down only those blessings that agree with Scripture. (For example: If a child says, “I thank God for the money I stole from my sister.” Since stealing is a sin, and against God’s Truth (Exodus 20:15), that would not be something to praise God for. Anything that is sin is not in agreement with the Word of Truth.) Afterward, read the list of God’s blessings to the group and thank God and praise Him for providing everything we need.

TAGS: Exodus 20:15; Luke 1:45, 46-49; John 4:22-24; Worship; Praise; Inner Human Spirit, Mind; Heart; Truth, Word of Truth, Triune God; Teaching Children.

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