This week I mentioned again that the first song we will be singing together in corporate worship will be one that is intentionally geared for kids. The hope is that the lyrics and melody are simple enough for children to easily learn them and sing along.
The rationale for having children sing along is found in several places in Scripture, but perhaps it’s most clearly seen in Acts 2:38–39: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
At Cities Church, we believe that the promises of God to save sinners who repent and trust in Jesus apply to every man, woman, and child who enter our doors, and therefore we want to thoughtfully serve and engage even the youngest and most simple in our midst.
The Gift of Music
I believe that one of the most profound graces that God has given us to teach our people, and especially our children, is the gift of music. Even for seasoned saints, Scripture memorization and recalling doctrinal truths are difficult, yet when we put God’s glorious truths to enjoyable melodies and arrange the words in memorable phrases and rhymes, the task of memorizing becomes both easy and delightful.
Moreover, music helps us to respond to God with appropriate emotions. Our children can feel when upbeat major chords play and the church celebrates “O praise the One Who paid our debt and raised our lives up from the dead” — and they can feel when we are grieved by our sin as slow minor chords accompany our voices when we sing “I once was lost in darkest night, yet thought I knew the way. The sin that promised joy and life had led me to the grave.”
We want for our children to know that Sunday morning services are for them, too. Certainly, we don’t expect for our children to fully understand (or even pay full attention) to everything that is said or happens during the service, but we do want to include them as much as possible. It is our hope that building in these simple but Scripturally rich songs at the beginning of our services will help our children look forward to our Sunday gatherings, engage in worship, and feel appreciated by our church body.
To Take Home
In addition to singing these songs on Sunday morning, this is also a simple tool for connecting with our children with teaching about Jesus during the week. As we learn these songs together, we also have opportunity to talk about the truths within the lyrics.
I am just now starting to build our repertoire of kid-friendly worship songs and I would love the input of children and parents alike. Please let me know, whether email or in person this Sunday, the songs that you catch your kids singing in the back seat of the car.
This past Sunday I taught “God Undefeatable” (by Austin Stone). Below, you will find the lyrics to help teach your kids and sing-along with them. As we build our song bank, I will continue to post both the lyrics and music online. If any of you would like a copy of the chords or sheet music so that you can play along with instruments, let me know, as I would love to provide that for you.
(Austin Stone Worship)
Behold the King who conquered
And overcame our sin
Behold our glorious Victor
Whose mercy knows no end
He is true, He is right
Death is broken, He is alive
God undefeatable, kingdom unshakeable
In majesty and power You reign
Love undeniable, matchless and bountiful
To waken us to life You came
And now our way is certain
Our souls in You secure
Through every pain and struggle
Your victory endures
For You are true, You are right
Death is broken, You are alive
The love of God is greater than we dare to hope or dream (x2)
The hold of God is stronger than we dare to hope or dream (x2)