Music and singing are core components of adult worship gatherings and have been for thousands of years. An early song of praise is found all the way back in Exodus 15 wherein Moses and the Israelites sang to the Lord to celebrate their deliverance from Egypt. Bible scholars tell us that the 150 Psalms in the bible were written over a period of no less than a thousand years and were compiled into their present form around 2500 years ago. Clearly, music has been part of worship for a long, long time. While the style of music that God’s people have used in worship has changed over the centuries, the presence of music as part of the gatherings of believers has been consistent, and it continues to draw Christ-followers into deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus to this day. Music and worship go together.
Music is also a powerful teaching tool that is employed by educators. From learning the alphabet to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood to School House Rock, teachers know that learning and retention of concepts and information can increase exponentially when a lesson is set to a song. Music and teaching go together.
Many of us who grew up in the church learned foundational biblical truths about our great God through simple songs like Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children and The B-I-B-L-E. You may even recognize that early song of Moses from Exodus 15, “I will sing unto the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider fell into the sea.” In addition to classic children’s songs like these, scripture memory songs and modern praise choruses (many of which are covers of biblical Psalms) are wonderful tools for leading the children in your ministry closer to God today. As a parent, it blesses me beyond description when I hear my young boys singing scripture-based songs in the backseat of the car on the way to soccer practice.
Are you making the most of music in your kids ministry or might you be missing an opportunity? To what degree is music a regular part of your weekly kids ministry? I want to challenge you to include music – specifically singing – as a regular part of your kids ministry gatherings. Whether you sing a few simple songs with a live leader strumming a guitar or use DVD-driven lyric videos like the optional worship resources included in Lifeway Kids curriculums, play some songs and encourage everyone to sing along!
Make it fun. Get your kids up on their feet to get the wiggles out. Invite a few leaders up front to do hand motions (which adds another memory component). Make a habit of repeating the same songs regularly so your kids get to know them well. Fun and worshipful praise songs will help set the tone for your time, and they’ll stick in your kids minds at home, school, and in the car.
Chuck Peters is Director of Operations for Lifeway Kids. A graduate of Columbia Bible College, Chuck, and his wife, Cris, have served vocationally & voluntarily in Student and Children’s Ministry for many years. They have four amazing children.