for me to discuss how i feel about yancy really has to take on a three-probed approach – how i feel as a ministry peer, a church ministry leader, and as a mom.

i first met yancy at one of several kidmin conferences we were both a part of at the time. i heard her heart about kids and worship and i stood and watched her lead weary ministry leaders in worship. she was humble and approachable and people flocked to her and her booth every time she was there.

then, i brought yancy to my church to lead worship, once at 24 hours 4 Him and another time at a family worship that she and her dad led together. she was professional and so easy to work with each time. as soon as the kids entered the room she was engaged with them and their families. she not only “led songs”, she explained their meaning to the kids and taught them about true worship. while her voice is definitely concert level, her passion for a time of worship was much more center stage.

then my toddler was introduced to her music in our preschool ministry. i will never forget last easter when every night of Holy week my two-year-old would jump and sing her heart out to hosanna rock. i mean i knew yancy had an amazing place in ministry, but now she was greatly impacting my home. as i watched my baby worship, i thanked God for the ministry He gave yancy to point even the smallest to Him.

so, of course, yancy had to be a part of this 5 questions series. she has seen it all. she has played in big and little venues near and far. she has talked to countless kids leaders, so i wanted her wisdom and insight shared with all of us through this series.

1 – what do you see kidmin and family ministry leaders doing right? 

I love the awareness that I’ve seen come into focus the past few years of partnering with parents. The reality is even the most faithful families of your church no longer attend every week. Watching leaders explore, navigate and create ways to connect, support and help families is something that excites me as a children’s ministry leader and parent.

2 – what do you see as the greatest need in kidmin and family ministry right now? 

Last year I took my son to see Paw Patrol live. The families there paid a pretty penny to attend. They carved out time in what I’m sure was an already crowded schedule. They spent money on snacks and overpriced Paw Patrol merchandise. Why? Because they want to create memories with their kids. They want to have those fun moments that as a family they can point back to and say “remember when we….”. They want to put a smile on their child’s face and not just have a picture of it but instead be IN the picture of that fun thing. It made me super thankful for the churches that I get to partner with to do family concerts and events. I realized that day that churches have opportunities to help the parents of their church create memories with their kids. I challenge leaders to look for ways that you can create fun for families that often times may still have the gospel at the heart of it. Let’s help their “remember when” moments to be faith shaping adventures as a family.

3 – if you could have coffee with every kidmin/fammin leader, what would you want to make sure you shared with them? 

Thank you for the work you do. Thank you for the seeds you plant, water and nurture. Thank you for the sacrifices you make. Thank you for the sacrifices your family makes. Your hard work is not in vain. It doesn’t go unnoticed. You are a difference maker. Never forget you are running a race that the Bible instructs us to run to win. Don’t give up. You can do it. Finish well.

4 – what word of encouragement do you have for today’s kidmin/fammin leaders? 

I had amazingly supportive parents and know how blessed I am to say that. I knew from an early age what God had called me to do with my music. I sang at church from the time I was a kid every chance I could get. As I reflect on my formative years what comes to mind are all the church volunteers who cheered me on. They believed in me. They encouraged me with my talent. They gave me opportunities. They stretched me to become a leader worth following. I know that their words spoke life to my heart and dreams. Their investment of time and presence made a difference in developing my faith. Looking back I’m so grateful and wish I could tell and every one of those volunteers THANK YOU for believing in a little girl and her dreams and for showing me the love of Jesus.

5 – why are you passionate about children’s and family ministry? 

Kids are awesome. They are in such an exciting phase of life. It’s a new construction stage rather than a major demolition and renovation. I love how soft their hearts are towards the things of God. I love how they so often feel and respond to God speaking to their heart. I love helping kids connect with the Lord through worship. I want to help raise up a generation to be after God’s heart just like David was. He found His hiding place in God’s presence. I want to help kids do that. It’s a gift we can give this generation: help them learn to run TO God no matter what happens in life, rather than FROM God. That my friends is a game changer.

Yancy is a worship leader and songwriter for kids that travels the globe doing family concerts and training worship leaders. She grew up a kidmin PK that knew God wanted to use her music for His glory. She has a passion for the church and produces many worship resources for kids including the series “Little Praise Party” and “Kidmin Worship” used in churches around the world. Her life is made even more complete with her husband, Cory and sons, Sparrow and Rhythm, where they live in Nashville, TN. Check out her website here.

last night we held our annual vine family worship – grandparent edition. it was such a special night and such a treat to have yancy and jim wideman here with us. here is an outline of what our night looked like as we sought to gather families of multiple generations together to treasure God’s Word.


as families arrived we had a photo booth for them to get a family picture made. we later posted these pictures to our facebook page for families to download. for families that didn’t have a grandparent that was able to attend we recruited some of our amazing adults to serve as “granpals” for the night. i love the idea of “grandpals” because this gave our families another connection in the church and we all know, families need the leadership of seasoned believers as we walk this journey.




after families had their picture made we gave them an early arrival card so they could be intentional about the time we had before the evening began. all of our children received highlighters in their promotion packets in august so we are always looking for ways to help them highlight special scriptures. we thought it would be special if grandparents and parents had a chance to highlight their favorite verses in the children’s Bibles. not only would this be an impacting moment at family worship, but hopefully for years to come as each child grows in their faith. we also had families go ahead and look up and highlight the focus passage for the evening. this helped them locate the night’s scripture and also began a family conversation about the truths this passage shared.


yancy and then, it was time for yancy’s first set. y’all i cannot say enough good things about how wonderful yancy is. not only is she an incredibly easy and organized artist to work with, she is approachable and really sees each event as a time of ministry. i loved how she was walking through the room beforehand engaging our kids and asking them what they were up to that afternoon. she had a perfect mix of upbeat worship songs and hymns that included all ages. she is also so interactive and one of the best artist i have heard to explain the meaning of worship songs before she leads them. if you are in need of a special musical guest and wondering if they are worth spending the money on, let me attest to the fact that yancy is worth every penny. we had here for one of our 24 hours 4 Him events, our preschool ministry had her for waffles and wiggles, and i am sure we will have her back.



jim widemannext up was yancy’s dad and no secret to the kidmin world, jim wideman. not only did we love pairing yancy with her dad for this event, we loved that he knows ministry and families and he just happens to be a dad and a grandfather. we thought this was a great fit for our special grandparent night. we didn’t give him an easy task either. his job was to speak for 15-20 minutes on our focus passage, psalm 119:9-16, to ages 4 – 75+. how’s that for an age span? he was personable and interactive and we feel super blessed to have had him here to invest into our kids and families with God’s Word. one of the best things is hearing how kids could quote specific truths he shared this morning as they reviewed withi their parents about what they learned.


after jim spoke, we had yancy up for a second set. let me take this time to say you don’t have to bring in big names to make a night like this successful. we don’t always do this, but we felt it was special for our grandparents night. you can purchase amazing video worship tracks at worship house kids or amber sky. you can also bring in your youth praise band for a special night of worship. usually, i or my associate minister to children speak or sometimes we invite another minister in so the families can hear from them. you have to use what works for your context and your budget.


one of my favorite times of each family worship is the interaction between families. since we were talking about treasuring God’s Word we gave each family a treasure chest (we purchased ours by the dozen at oriental trading.) and a scripture sheet. inside each treasure chest, we had 10-15 large sequins we were calling the “coins.” we tried to find blank coins to write on, but this proved too difficult or too expensive, so we just cleaned hobby lobby out of their quarter sized sequins. families were asked to use a sharpie to write one of the provided scripture references on each “coin.” they were also told they could decorate their family treasure box at home to represent their family. our goal in this family time was to create discussion and an experience that continued on as they went home. their challenge was to pull out a “coin” each day and read the passage as a family looking for treasures or truths in that passage. i talk more about our recipe for family worship here.



treasure scripturealso here is the scripture sheet that helped families find passages to print on their special treasure “coins.” we provided more scriptures than “coins” they were given and we tried to use scriptures that focused on God’s Word or  wer ein some way about treasure.




one other element of the night (which was optional) was that we encouraged families to dress up as a person, place, or thing from God’s Word. we had some very creative family entries. currently, our church staff is voting for their favorite and the winning family will receive a gift card for a family meal to spend some quality time together. again this was optional because we didn’t want to stress families out that wanted to come and didn’t want to think of an outfit.


we ended the night with a family meal of hamburgers, tater tots, and make your own smores at your table. we are so blessed with an amazing kitchen crew that really goes above and beyond to make our meals fun and interactive. 🙂 (fire at the tables, sure it was a little crazy, but what a fun family experience. 🙂 )


y’all i wish i could say we had a packed house and there was standing room only for all the families that wanted to attend, but i want to be transparent with you on ministry struggles. sadly, a packed house for this special night was not the case. we had around 250 there (which is a great number but not near what we could have reached) and while i was happy for each person that came, i grieved a bit for the empty seats. i know it is a sunday night and families are busy and i am wrestling with why many just don’t come back. i never want to be caught up in numbers, but also want to make sure we offer ministry events that enable all families to be confident in Christ and grow in their faith as a family. before our spring event, i will be praying through our process and confessing my sin as i often place my expectations above God’s plans. ultimately our vine family worship night was a success, based on truth, pointed to Jesus, and allowed families to begin and continue conversations about the treasure of God’s Word.

what are you doing to gather families together around the truth of God’s Word? comment and share. i would love to hear all your creative ideas.

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