21 Ways Your Youth Ministry Can Worship God Without A Band

Worship Bands can be a hassle. Personalities, Divas, The Next _____________ (write popular worship leader name here), practice times, no commitment, etc. etc. They can be more trouble than they are worth but I’ve always valued them because it gives kids roles and responsibilities and way to use the gifts and talents God has given them. There was this one time though that made me super angry and almost disbanded the band once and for all.

One band I had was what I would call a closed band. They were god’s unto themselves and god-forbid if you should mess with the dynamics. Not everyone in the band felt this way but enough to where one girl was not allowed to join because “she would mess everything up” according to one band member. I came to the defense of this young lady, and I have never told her that I did, and said she was gong to be worked into the band. This angered one band member so much he just looked at me, said “You’re ridiculous” and walked out never to return. I felt like singing as he left, “We’re coming back to a heart of worship…” Anyway, the strangle hold was broken and life went on.

I think worship has lost it’s bite over time. It’s more about being perfect than worshiping The Perfect One. Worship is entertaining, it’s loud, and many time it’s not focused on the One worthy of our worship. I love the quote from an article I just read on worship that says:

The Pulitzer Prize winning poet and author Annie Dillard asked: “Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? … It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return.”

Shouldn’t worship have a sense of awe instead of a predictable playlist of fast, fast, fast, medium, slow, slow, slow? Maybe you should consider it a good thing that you don’t have a band to manage or clutter the room with flashiness; distracting from the quiet, scary silence where God could show up and rock some kids face off.


If you’d don’t have a band, don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to worship God but let’s expand our meaning of worship first and then we can expand our methods.

To Worship God means:

lift up, adore, exalt, focus on, listen for, in Spirit, honor, focus on, respect, glorify, devote time, energy, resources to, ritual, regard, reverence, praise, surrender, ritual, adore, humility, intercession, wonder, recognition, delight, affection, and love.

Now, that being said (add your own definition plus a practical application in the comments), let’s look at some ways to worship God without a band.


Prayer Stations

Responsive Readings like this one.

YouTube Worship Playlist

Small Group Prayer (2-3 per group)

Have several topics to choose from (world issues, church issues, personal issues, etc. )

One on One Prayers

Have students pray one one one with each other.

Prayer Challenges

Have kids choose from challenging topics such abortion, poverty, war, terrorism, etc. and let them pray out loud from the mic or quietly while music plays.

Scripture Reading

Have kids read their favorite verse, read scripture with your message, verses that correspond with the hot topics list above.

Worship Music Playlist

Let kids find a quiet place or worship as they please. Have an open mic for kids to share what the Lord puts on their hearts.

Recite The Creeds

Pray The Creeds

Read them line by line and let kids or yourself offer a short prayer per line.

Pray The Scriptures

Have some scriptures ready to go along with your messages. Use them at the end to allow kids to pray and ask God to help them live out His word. You can read about how to pray the scriptures HERE



Grab a bunch of black notebooks from the dollar store and put them around the room. Put up a scripture or quote on the screen and the let kids roam around writing/reflecting/drawing in these books while music plays. Maybe each book could have a theme. These would be “open books” so caution students to not write anything to personal. You could give each student their own books and let them write/reflect/draw etc. on their own.

Dance (Yes, Dance) I recommend The Church is A Dance Party On A Train,  if you’re serious about helping kids join in and want an easy way for kids to participate.

Stand/Sit/Kneel Worship Experience

Create/Art – Let kids just free flow and see what happens. It can be individual or a group project.


Why not take the kids somewhere. I used to love taking the kids to their schools and pray over them before the start of the school year. Where else could you take them?

Jericho March – Sounds silly right? Well it worked for Joshua. What could you march around with the intent of “walls” falling down.

Prayer Wall

Have kids silently, or noisily, create their own wailing wall like they have in Jerusalem.

If you have a right-brained worship suggestion, leave me a comment.

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