Renowned Worship Leader, Dove Award-winning Singer/Songwriter and Producer of hundreds of songs sung around the world that make Jesus loud, Yancy Wideman Richmond authors her first book with the recent offering of Sweet Sound: The Power of Discipling Kids in Worship available now wherever books are sold. Echoing the cry of her heart and ministry, the book was written to help children's ministry leaders in churches create a rhythm of worship.
Full of prophetic, practical, and power-filled truth, this long-awaited book and highly sought-after resource encompasses Yancy's life ministry of leading kids into the presence of Jesus by using examples from the life of King David, as well as her own personal experiences. Through Sweet Sound, Yancy is purposed to empower the reader to raise up kids who desire to live a life of worship on a daily basis, not only on Sundays, as they unlock the power of discipling kids in worship.
Q: Yancy, thank you for doing this interview with us. Can you briefly share with us what your new book is about?
Thanks for having me. Absolutely. My book is really an invitation to help the reader see and better understand what is at stake and the power that is in kids worship. I share a lot of scriptures to help you see that a group of kids singing a song is so much more than just that. Every time you push play on a song and create time and space for a group of kids to worship, you are unleashing God's power to be at work in your classrooms, hallways, family cars and beyond. I share a lot of things we can learn and apply to our life from David's example. For church leaders, I also share many practical tips that are proven and true to help you lead more effectively. I wrote this book for church and worship leaders, BUT I know that every individual who reads it will better understand why their own offering of worship matters and grow because of it.
Q: Tell us about your own ministry in leading kids to worship.
I've been making music for twenty-five years but have focused that music on kids and families for the past fourteen. I get to travel and do family concerts and lead worship at special VBS and camp events. I create videos for all my songs and make many worship resources that churches around the world use as part of their worship time each week on Sundays. I love being a small part of what these local churches are doing to lead kids to Jesus. I make two different kinds of music. One (Yancy/Kidmin Worship) is for preteens and the other (Little Praise Party) is for younger children. Those songs are shorter, simpler and more active. The music is fun, and I love to make Jesus loud in whatever I'm doing.
Q: In your book, you mentioned "STOP just doing songs and START leading worship." What's the difference between "doing" songs and "leading worship"?
Yes, I would love to share about that. Doing songs looks like just checking the box that you're making it happen each week. It means you're planning things last minute in the tech booth on Sunday morning. You're not teaching new songs and inviting others to learn what worship is and how to be a part of it. Leading worship looks like being intentional such as prayerfully planning what songs you're going to sing and how to arrange the set. It means you're helping your group of kids to "sing a new song to the Lord" and weekly teaching them about worship, what it means and why their worship matters.
Q: At what age, should parents introduce children to worship?
At the beginning. Be intentional about what you push play on. Have a playlist even for newborns for some of those most challenging moments that you can play to invite the Lord into the chaos of those moments. The spirit of that baby recognizes the sound of heaven and joins in. As they are in their preschool years, play them songs that are not only age appropriate (vocabulary/attention spans) but filled with Biblical truth you want planted on the inside of them. Instead of Baby Shark and the Wiggles, for example, play for them the things you want to bear fruit in the years to come in their lives. I don't think this has to mean family worship sets a couple times a week at home. But, I do think what you listen to on the way to school and while running errands matters. Be intentional about the minutes you have with your kids and model to them what a life and heart of worship looks like.
Q: How does a parent start helping his or her child in understanding worship?
Show them worship. Be a worshiper yourself. Engage in the worship times when you're at church. Play worship songs in the car or when you're at home. Read through the Psalms and unpack what they mean. I tell church leaders every week to give kids a nugget of the "what, why, where, when and how" of worship. I think parents can do the same through conversations at the dinner table by talking about what a song means, how it has spoken or helped them and what they could learn from it. Just give children practical opportunities and ways to run to the Father.
Q: What are some resources (in terms of music) that parents may use to facilitate worship with their children?
Yancy music and Little Praise Party, of course, are at the top of my list. Other favorites include Orange Kids Music, Hillsong Kids, Doorpost Songs, Seeds Family Worship, Listener Kids and JumpStart 3. Go to worship nights that are happening at your local church or community. Let kids taste and see His presence so they will hunger and thirst for more of Him.
Q: How can your book help parents and Sunday school leaders train children to worship?
The book will give you understanding of what worship is and why it matters. I believe that will translate into helping you communicate and break it down for kids. Kids really are easy to lead in worship, but sometimes the biggest missing component is them having understanding and knowledge. There is so much we can learn from David's example, and I share many examples and points to that. The last third of the book is practical wisdom to help you lead preschoolers, teach new songs, plan worship sets, choreograph motions to songs, partner with families and so much more. This is a must read for ministry leaders, but I've heard from many parents and homeschool moms who say this book is going change how they lead and make space for worship with their kids. God created us to worship Him. There is something in this book for every believer so they better understand how to run to the Father in everything they face.
For all the latest news and details on Sweet Sound, visit https://yancyministries.com/sweetsound/. For more information on Yancy's music, Heartbeat worship curriculum and more, go to https://yancyministries.com, as well as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.