In most of our churches, children are present for the first part of the worship service, but we don’t always consider them (along with others) when choosing songs and hymns.
Some churches include a children’s song in their’ time with the children”, but what about the other songs we sing? And if there’s a ‘children’s song’ does that mean all the other songs are not for them? When we (Kids Friendly) are asked by churches: “Can you suggest some children’s songs?” We suggest choosing songs that ALL God’s children love to sing when worshipping together.
While there is a place for upbeat children’s songs with actions it may not be in the all age worshipping community. Children to enjoy hymns and the ‘oldie but goodie’ songs that the older people of the congregation remember singing as children.
“Churches often choose music and worship forms according to the taste of the children in their midst – but their tastes are not yet biblically formed. That is like letting first graders choose what they want to learn in school.” Marvin Dawn, “Is It A Lost Cause?: Having the Heart of God for the Church’s Children”
We encourage church worship teams to carefully consider their context and how all ages can better participate together in worship, including the sung worship. Children bring their special gifts to worship and grow in their faith through regular inclusion and participation in the worship of the congregation.
“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” said C.S. Lewis. Could the same be true for ‘a children’s song?’
Do adults cringe as they sing silly words? Are children asked to come up and ‘perform’ the actions? We think there’s a better way to share the richness of our faith through words and tunes that inspire us and sustain us for life.
Download our Songs_We_Love_To_Sing_Together_In_Church
Or all 3-in-1″ in our handout Singing Together in Church we did for a recent worshiping with children workshop
Download Cheryl’s iTunes 101 – a step by step guide to setting up an iTunes account and purchasing songs
SONGS FOR ALL GOD’S CHILDREN
Our “very own” Malcolm Gordon, Worship, Music & Arts Enabler, has produced some wonderful songs that work in intergenerational contexts.
It was literally and metaphorically “music to my ears” to hear the children of St James’ Whanganui belting out “Beneath the Southern Cross” at Rev Mo Morgan’s ordination service recently. Jill Kayser
Check out these amazing video productions of some of Malcolm’s most loved songs and listen to lots more at One Voice. Malcolm and his work are a TAONGA to our church!
‘Hey Mary!’ is a wonderful Christmas creation by Malcolm and his beautiful boy Sam – a hit with our churches and many more around the country and world.
‘Hey Stranger’ is a song that Malcolm created for our Kids Friendly and Presbyterian Support campaign “praying for children at risk”. A prayer and song that is worth singing every week in every church we think!