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Understanding the different parts of a worship service can be confusing for any young child. One minute everyone is singing loudly, the next everyone is sitting and listening quietly. Sometimes the adults know something that should be said out loud, like, “Thanks be to God!” How did they know what to say? What is communion all about? And why does the pastor raise his hands and pray at the end of the service?
Using the vision of Isaiah 6, God Made Me for Worship by Jared Kennedy focuses on teaching kids about the key liturgical movements in a worship gathering, including the call to worship, praise and adoration, confession, assurance and passing the peace, ministry of the Word and sacraments, and benediction and sending.
This bright and colorful children’s book illustrated by Trish Mahoney celebrates how God reveals himself to his people in the movements of worship. All the parts of worship tell the story of the gospel, and since Jesus is the object of our worship, his story of redemption gives shape to our worship.
The author guides parents to help their kids understand why we’re intentional about worship, encouraging them to engage—not just to manage behavior during a worship gathering, and invites children to respond to God along with the whole church body.
God Made Me for Worship is part of the God Made Me series which equips parents to have important, impactful conversations with their children, helping them to grow in understanding of God, themselves, and others. Each book in the series contains a special section just for parents and caregivers that provides biblical guidance and offers additional information and resources for talking about the topic addressed in the story.
Jared Kennedy, MDiv, ThM, leads the children's ministry creative team as Pastor of Families at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY, and is the children's ministry strategist for Harbor Network. He is the author of The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible and Are You Close to God?; the coauthor of The Leadership Mosiac; and has developed two VBS programs, Proof Pirates and Clap Your Hands, Stomp Your Feet. He and his wife, Megan, have three girls, Rachael, Lucy, and Elisabeth.
Trish Mahoney is a graphic designer and illustrator in Seattle where she runs The Mahoney Studio with her husband, Patrick, also a designer and illustrator. They have two children, both budding artists too. Trish is the illustrator for the God Made Me series and The Beginner's Gospel Story Bible.
“Parents and grandparents who want to help children understand and enjoy corporate worship will be very grateful to Jared Kennedy for producing this book. In a delightfully simple and engaging way it answers hard questions about what we do when we gather together as God’s people. You could read and discuss this book together many times to unpack the biblical and pastoral wisdom it contains.”
David G. Peterson, Moore College, Sydney, Australia; author of Engaging with God and Encountering God Together
“This book is a creative way for parents to talk with their children about what we do when we gather in worship. Reading this book together in the family room or at the bedside can help prompt a child to ask, and answer, on Sunday, ‘Why are we here?’ and ‘What are we doing?’ as well as, most importantly, ‘Whose are we?’”
Russell Moore, President, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
“The weekly habit of taking our children to church is one of the greatest blessings we can offer them. Church invites our children to a larger family of faith and provides a home away from home—a place to belong wherever they may go. Most importantly, the church teaches our children who and how to worship. God Made Me for Worship is a wonderful way to help children understand how all the elements of worship share the gospel story.”
Melissa Kruger, Director of Women’s Initiatives for The Gospel Coalition; author of Walking with God in the Season of Motherhood
“Jared Kennedy walks us through the gospel narrative that is enshrined in the different parts of the worship service, helping children—and adults as well—not only understand what worship is but what the gospel is. I’m thankful for this very helpful primer.”
Iain M. Duguid, Professor of Old Testament; dean of Online Learning, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, PA
“Jared Kennedy has given us a great resource for churches and families to use with children. God Made Me for Worship is a wonderful way to introduce children to the biblical concepts of congregational worship. This is a much-needed book to help our children understand and participate as the church gathers for worship.”
Greg Brewton, Department Chair of Biblical Worship, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
“Parents shouldn’t assume their kids understand what is going on during their Sunday worship service. Through God Made Me for Worship, Jared Kennedy provides parents with an excellent tool they can use to help their kids understand church. It explains the components of a Sunday liturgy and connects them to the gospel story. Every Christian parent should add God Made Me for Worship to their family bookshelf.”
Marty Machowski, Pastor; author of The Ology, God Made Boys and Girls, Long Story Short, and other gospel-centered resources for church and home
“I wish I had been able to read God Made Me for Worship to my children when they were younger. What a biblical, clear, and engaging explanation of the different dimensions of Christian worship! Many parents will also be edified and reminded of the basics when they read this book to their children.”
Robert L. Plummer, Collin and Eveyln Aikman Professor of Biblical Studies; chair of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
“Jared Kennedy gets kids, and he has a firm grip on how to connect families to church life and liturgy. He brings keen pastoral and practitioner instincts as well as a distinctive writing style that sparks with clarity. My recommendation remains simple: If Jared is writing for kids and families, then it’s worth the time of any parent to read it.”
Dave Harvey, President of the Great Commission Collective; author of When Sinners Say I Do and I Still Do: Growing Closer and Stronger Through Life’s Defining Moments
“In the car when our kids were little, they’d ask, ‘What’s that sign say?’ And sometimes, the answer would eventually lead our car where the sign had pointed—for ice cream or pizza. In God Made Me for Worship, Jared Kennedy explains what worship services are all about and how they’re actually signs pointing to the gospel. With pictures and a story that children will love, Kennedy looks at church and answers the question: ‘What does that sign say?’ And points all of us to the feast the Lord has spread.”
Champ Thornton, Associate Pastor at Ogletown Baptist Church in Newark, DE; author of The Radical Book for Kids
“From the moment I opened this book I could not stop smiling. What a gift this is to each of us who has the joy-filled responsibility of teaching the next generation the centrality of the worship of God. This book will help children and adults alike come to a clearer understanding of the beauty and role of corporate worship in the Christian life.”
Matt Boswell, Hymn writer; pastor, The Trails Church; assistant professor of Church Music and Worship, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“It is statistically proven that kids engaging in worship with their families is one of the most impactful things that can happen in their faith as they grow up. Now, thanks to Jared Kennedy and his book God Made Me for Worship, kids, parents, and children's ministry practitioners have a beautiful roadmap to shared language and mutual understanding for the why’s, how’s, and what’s of worship. This book is a gift to kids and the adults who love them and desire to see them know and love Jesus and his church.”
Mallory Hammond, Director of Kids and Families, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN
“Jared Kennedy has provided families with another great resource in God Made Me for Worship. I love the positive portrayal of a pastor with children of the church and the robust view of corporate worship communicated clearly for children. Get this book for your families and children’s ministry workers!”
Ray Van Neste, Dean, School of Theology and Missions, Union University, Jackson, TN
“Corporate worship is God's gift to remind, encourage, grow, and send his people in the good news of Jesus. But public worship can be a confusing time for children (and adults!). Walking through Isaiah 6, Jared Kennedy offers a beautiful, simple, and helpful explanation of church worship to children and their parents.”
Eric Schumacher, Pastor; hymn writer at Hymnicity; coauthor of Worthy: Celebrating the Value of Women
“In God Made Me for Worship, Jared Kennedy does a great job of establishing a child-friendly foundation for biblical community. It helps the reader understand why we do what we do in church. This resource is a tremendous tool for parents, ministry leaders, and anyone who seeks to invest in the next generation for the sake of the gospel.”
Jeff Dalrymple, Executive Director, Evangelical Council for Abuse Prevention
“God Made Me for Worship is an inviting, fun, and straightforward explanation of why we do what we do in corporate worship services. Children and parents will learn how each element of a church’s weekly service is specially designed to draw us to God in worship and demonstrate some aspect of the gospel message.”
Curtis Solomon, Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition
“God Made Me for Worship is a great gift to parents who have perhaps never thought deeply about the different aspects of their weekly worship services, much less how to explain them to their children. Jared Kennedy has provided a biblically based and gospel-centered explanation of many different liturgical elements that parents will want to refer to when bringing their kids with them to worship.”
John Murchison, Managing Director of The Austin Stone Institute
“God Made Me to Worship is gospel centered and delightful. It teaches children the various aspects of worship by taking the mystery out of corporate worship and replacing it with a better understanding. This book will help kids comprehend all elements of corporate worship and will teach them to worship God in all aspects of their lives.”
Rochell Goff, Director of Children’s Programming, Crossings Ministries, Louisville, KY
“Worship can seem weird—especially for kids and parents who are new to the church. That’s a blind spot for many church leaders. This little book helps make sense of the wonderful traditions that give structure to our worship of God. The simple explanations and beautiful illustrations bring much-needed clarity to how and why we gather each week. This would be a perfect gift to include in any membership onboarding or child dedication process.”
Tony Kummer, Founder and Editor of Ministry-To-Children
“Jared Kennedy and illustrator Trish Mahoney have winsomely, wisely, and pastorally made accessible the essential gospel contour of weekly worship for children and their parents. In a Christian culture overly fascinated with the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the corporate gathering, this delightful children’s book beautifully shares the essential ‘why’ we worship in an engaging and thoroughly biblical way.”
Joe Crider, Dean, School of Church Music and Worship, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX
“This book is a practical and engaging tool for parents to explain the dynamics of corporate worship to their children, regardless of denominational context. Breaking down the rhythms of adoration, renewal, and commitment within our weekly liturgy into bite-sized pieces sows powerful seeds for deeper understanding and application in young hearts. I’m excited to use this resource with my own family!”
Jared Crabtree, Associate Pastor of Families, Redeemer Fellowship, Kansas City, MO
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