You’ve probably heard the saying, “He couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket.” Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m not even qualified to carry the bucket. I have a child with a similar lack of musical giftedness though, so I can still understand how my Heavenly Father can enjoy listening to me sing even when it sounds like nails on a chalkboard to me.
I have another son who, although young, definitely seems to have a gift for music. The one thing we all enjoy though is singing together. We like to ride around in the truck, role up the windows, and play the music really loud as we sing along. If Mom’s in the car, we turn the music down a little bit, but we still like to sing. We listen to the same songs, we talk about the lyrics, and we sing. That is the power of music, and that is why music should not, and can not, be an afterthought in your children’s ministry.
Singing to God and worshipping him in song is prescribed by the Bible. There is no age limit on this commandment, and part of our job as children’s ministers is to make sure that we are equipping kids to progress in their spiritual journey in all areas – including worshipping through song. To that end, we must endeavor to introduce them to songs that include deep spiritual truths and biblical references in songs and words that they can understand and will enjoy.
We should endeavor to find songs that kids can sing along with their parents. This means find songs simple enough for kids to sing along with but still engaging enough to maintain the interest of parents. Perhaps even more importantly, it means finding songs that are enjoyable for both kids and parents to listen to and sing. Finding songs that parents can sing with their kids holds tremendous opportunity for spiritual growth both for the children and their parents.
Oftentimes, I think people in children’s ministry gravitate towards “easier songs,” especially with younger children. One of my personal mantras when it comes to working with kids is that I do not want to underestimate them, and that applies to music as well. We shouldn’t assume that they are incapable of picking up more complex songs or understanding songs which present deeper theological truths. To be sure, we should do what we can to encourage their participation. This includes picking songs that they can sing along with, songs with music that they will like, and words that they can understand. I contend though that there are enough choices out there today that we can have the latter without sacrificing the former.
To be sure, there is plenty of so-called kids worship music out there that I have trouble sitting through let alone singing along to. Fortunately though, there are some sources of kids’ worship music which are great to listen to and still allow kids to worship. They include:
- Hillsong Kids
- Amber Sky Records
- Shout Praises Kids
- Uncle Charlie
- God’s Kids Worship (I recently did a review of God’s Kids Music on Dad in the Middle)
- Phil Joel
- Check out this free children’s worship music from the The Village Church.
What music are you using in your ministry?
Need More Ideas? Browse our suggestions for children’s worship songs. In our forums, you can learn how to use an iPod in children’s church.