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7 More Songs for the VBS: Shipwrecked by Group

Shipwrecked VBS graphic of a ship

 

“Shipwrecked”, a VBS curriculum produced by Group Publishing, is all about helping kids understand that Jesus is able to rescue them. 

Whether it is from loneliness, worry, sin, struggle, or powerlessness, Jesus is able to rescue us from many different trials. Each day of the VBS covers one of these subjects, and the list below includes some more songs based on these themes, to keep your playlist fresh and relevant all week long.

 

Jesus Comes to Rescue Me 

 

God is With Us Wherever We Go

 

 God is Able 

 

A Friend to Sinners

 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

 

Power Up! Jesus Helps You

 

Jesus Helps You Power Up!

 

Is your church hosting the Shipwrecked Vacation Bible School this year? What songs do kids seem to really connect with from the curriculum or from here on KidTunz?

History Behind the Hymn: “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”

The great hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” depicts a rich understanding of God forged through times of loss and loneliness. The hymn’s lyricist was a native of Dublin, Ireland, a man named Joseph Scriven (1820-1886). This is part of his story.

After graduating from Trinity College, he greatly anticipated the day that he and his long-time love would be married. She was his childhood sweetheart, and all of the wedding preparations were made. The day before the wedding, however, tragedy struck. While riding to meet him, the young woman’s horse was startled by something, throwing the her into the river nearby. The impact knocked her unconscious and she drowned shortly before Joseph arrived to meet her.

After this tragic loss, Joseph was troubled by the sight of his home in Ireland, and soon left for Ontario, Canada where he spent the rest of his days in Port Hope. He devoted himself to good works and to caring for others in the village, being known as someone that never turned away those in need that could not repay him.

Eventually, he began tutoring the children of a man in town, and in the process, fell in love with the man’s niece, Eliza. The two planned to be married in 1854, but shortly before, Eliza fell sick with pneumonia, passing away at the age of 23. Once again tragedy invaded Joseph Scriven’s life, as the hoped-for marriage day never came.

Throughout the struggles and loss of his life, Scriven continued to find solace in the nearness of God, whom he described as his closest friend. It is unclear as to when the lyrics he penned were put to music, as he initially sent them in a letter to his mother, intending that they be seen only by her.

His words remind us that though life is challenging and often painful, we have someone with us that is a dearer friend than any human ever could be, sustaining us and remaining close to us through it all.

Remembering his story can give us and the children in our lives faith to persevere and to serve others in need in every season.

Lyrics

What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer!

Oh, what peace we often forfeit,

Oh, what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.

 

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

 

 

VBS Music: Songs for 5th Graders

Hopefully you’ve checked out our recently released PDF child development guide  which we created to make it easy for parents and teachers to understand kids’ levels of learning, from 3 years-old to 11-years old.

Below you’ll find songs we compiled specifically for fifth graders according to the characteristics on the PDF guide above. They are a bit more figurative in nature and tend to have more complicated melody lines to keep kids engaged and singing along.

If you sample these and want to buy the ThemePak, you can check it out here!

 

Power Up

Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up! (clap, clap) Get in shape God’s way.
Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up today!

 

Speak and Do Good

If actions speak much louder than the words you say,
What will others hear when they look your way?
It seems a whole lot easier to speak it than to do.
When you do what’s right, it will come back to you…

 

Kind Like You

Lord Jesus, make me kind like You. You cared for others; that’s the thing I’ll do.
I will lead the way. I’ll care today. Let my love point to You.
I will look for ways to serve, to build bridges strong with love.

 

Love in Any Language

I will go into the world and I will share the news of hope
That God is ev’rywhere—His love extends to all.

Though we come from many places and are diff’rent we’re the same.
For love in any language is Jesus’ name. 

 

His Way

God helps people just like you and me. He gives us what we need to live.
God sees people in their time of need. He shows us how to trust in Him…

 

According to Code

Build your life according to code. Learn God’s Word and hammer it home.
Build a life of character the way that Jesus showed us to do.
Oh, follow the code…

 

I Have Confidence

O Lord, You know my name. I hear you calling me to follow You.
You have promised to guide my way. I’ll follow You today…

 

Construction Zone

Welcome to a work in progress. You’ve enterd a construction zone.
We’re building on a firm foundation, but not with brick and stone.
Jesus is the model of perfection. His plans for us are divine.
So, welcome to a work in progress; building character in our lives…in our lives…

 

He Is Alive

Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives.
Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives…

 

Miracle Power

We need Your power, O great God. Hear us, we cry out, mighty God.
You feel our pain; You know our needs. We believe in Your miracle power…

 

Buy the ThemePak

 

How do you create lessons to specifically teach fifth graders?

Sunday School Songs for 3rd and 4th Graders

Hopefully you’ve checked out our recently released PDF child development guide  which we created to make it easy for parents and teachers to understand kids’ levels of learning, from 3 years-old to 11-years old.

 

Below you’ll find the individual songs from the Theme Pak comprised entirely of songs for 3rd and 4th graders! These songs are ones we thought matched their development characteristics in terms of what they understand and how they relate to others.

 

The Bible Gives Us Rules

God is our life-coach, and He’s given us the Book
To show us how to be the best we can…

 

God Gave Me My Church

God gave me my church so I could see how to love people other than me.
God gave me my church so I could know how to live like Jesus…

 

Just Like Jesus

Just like Jesus, I wanna be. Just like Jesus, I wanna be.
Just like Jesus, He’s my cornerstone…

 

Treasures in Heaven

Treasures in Heaven, no one can take away;
Treasures in Heaven that last for always…

 

God Sees

God sees all that you are going through.
God sees, and He will take care of you.
Don’t be swayed by what you see.
God will give the help you need…

 

Ride Our Fears

We can ride our fears like a bucking bronco. God’s power helps us hold on. 
We will decide to ride it out. In prayer He makes us strong…

 

Take Our Stand for God

Take a stand. Take a stand for God. Take a stand. Tell others that Jesus lives.
Take a stand. Take a stand for God. Take a stand. Lift Jesus up today!…

 

God is in Control

God is in control. He is with me wherever I go.
God is in control. He is strong and powerful. He will help me, I know…

 

Workin’ it for the Lord

Aaron and Hur held Moses’ hands up high. The battle was turned with their help.
Deborah the judge was known by all to be wise and when it came to a fight, she didn’t run away afraid.

They were workin’ it, workin’ it, workin’ it, workin’ it, workin’ it for the Lord…

 

God Answers Prayers

Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives.
Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives.

He is always with us. He will always love us.
He will always help us when we pray to Him…

 

Buy the Theme Pak

 

What do you think is unique about 3rd and 4th graders you’ve worked with compared to younger or older kids?

 

Sunday School Songs for 1st and Second Graders

Hopefully you’ve checked out our recently released PDF child development guide  which we created to make it easy for parents and teachers to understand kids’ levels of learning, from 3 years-old to 11-years old.  Kids go through many stages of development, and understanding their ability to understand certain concepts throughout those stages can ensure that they don’t just repeat the music they sing but really understand it!

We’ve created a Theme Pak just for 1st and 2nd Graders, filled with songs that are tailored to their development characteristics as listed in the PDF above. And to give you a way to preview all of the songs before you buy the album, we’ve listen samples below with some lyrics.

Love the Lord

 

Love the Lord with all your heart. Love the Lord with all your soul.
Love the Lord with all your mind. Love the Lord with all your strength.
We can show our love for God ev’ryday.
Make it clearly seen in what we do and say. 

 

These Feet, Hands and Heart

These feet* are gonna follow. These feet are gonna go.
These feet are gonna follow. I will follow Jesus wherever He leads.
(*hands, and heart) 

 

Catch a Fish for Me

Fishing all day; fishing all night. Never caught a thing; never got a bite.
Along came Jesus walking with the tide…

 

He’s Got the Whole World

He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.

 

Come Follow Me

Jesus said, “Come follow Me.” (echo)
Jesus, now I will follow You. (echo)
(build as a round)

 

I Love My Family

God gave my family to always care for me, to always share with me, to be there for me.
God gave my family to always help me see how to live my life…

 

Jesus Did Good Things

Jesus did good things to show us God’s plan.
He came to help us and bring hope to man.
He forgave us, came to save us, showed us how to live;
Reaching us and teaching us, with love that comes from Him. 

 

Make Me a Servant, Too

Jesus, You are a servant. Jesus, make me a servant too.
I give up my selfish ways to follow You all my days.
O Lord, make me a servant just like You. 

 

Because You Made Me

I praise You because You made me; I am special to You.
I praise You because you made me special to you…

 

Jesus Cares for Everyone

Jesus, Jesus cares for everyone. Jesus knows me and He loves me.
Jesus, I will thank You as I pray. Jesus, I will love You every day. 

Buy the Theme Pak

What have you found helpful in teaching 1st and 2nd graders?

Sunday School Songs for Pre-K to Kindergarten (3 to 6)

Hopefully you’ve checked out our recent PDF child development guide  which we created to make it easy for parents and teachers to understand kids’ levels of learning, from 3 years-old to 11-years old. We created it so you can be sure that the music you sing with them is really sure to stick.

To make the process a bit easier, we have compiled albums specific to each age group! We chose the songs below because they each match the developmental characteristics of kids ages 3-6. Pre-schoolers and kindergarteners see the world in very black and white terms, so they don’t always understand the metaphorical or figurative language in most praise and worship songs. Because of this, below you’ll find songs that are all focused on very concrete subjects, like picking up toys, animals and birds, saying thank you and actions that show others love.

These simple songs will provide lay a solid foundation for discipleship further down the road. If you  listen to the individual songs below and want the whole theme pack, you can find it here!

 

Let’s Pick Up All the Toys

Let’s pick up all the toys, pick up all the toys, pick up all the toys.
Let’s pick up all the toys. Who will be my helper?

 

Walk with Jesus

I’m gonna walk,* walk, walk with Jesus.
I’m gonna walk,* walk, walk with my Lord.
I’m gonna walk* everyday as I follow Him and pray.
I’m gonna walk,* gonna walk* with Him.

 

He’s Got the Whole World

He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands.
He’s got the whole world in His hands….

 

God Made a Wonderful World

God made the day and night. God made the land and sky.
God made plants and animals, too. God made me and you….

 

Some Good News

I am bringing you some good news, good news, some good news.
I am bringing you some good news. Today your Savior was born….

 

Obey, Obey Your Parents

Obey, obey your parents. This is the right thing to do.
Respect and honor your parents. Then the Lord will give His blessing to you…

 

Give Thanks and Pray to Him

Give thanks to the Lord and pray to Him.
Give thanks to the Lord and pray to Him.
Our God helps us ev’ry day. We can thank Him when we pray. 

 

We’re All in This Together

We’re all in this together, God’s great big family.
I have brothers, and I have sisters; we’re a people potpourri…

 

Those Who Are Fair

Happy are those who are fair and do what is right!
When we obey God, He blesses us both day and night. 

Show Others Love

Yah way, oh way yah, yah way a oh, way oh.
Yahzos, yah way oh. Yah way oh yah way oh.

I will show others love just like the Lord loves me.
Jesus help me show love so others see you through me. 

 

Buy the Theme Pak

How do you tailor your lessons to match the age group of students you’re teaching?

 

Child Development Guide PDF – Kids 3-11 Years Old

A few weeks ago, I was at a five-day conference, working with the children aged six months to 3 years old. As the parents were in sessions, my colleagues and I would spend time with the six or so children, finding activities and games for them to play throughout the day and evening.  By the fourth day, the children had grown accustomed to the room and toys, and in order to keep things fresh, I began thinking of new games for us to play together.

My experience with children was largely just with elementary-aged kids, which are more developmentally advanced than the toddlers, and so I wasn’t quite sure where the children would be in regards to what games they could play. I quickly learned a difference between the two age groups after gathering them together for a round of the classic game, Duck-Duck-Goose.

I got some blank stares while explaining the rules to the three-year-olds and quickly decided to demonstrate instead of just tell. After showing them a couple of examples, I realized that even demonstrating did not connect the dots, as one three-year-old kind of patted a couple of heads and then began running circles, around and around, as quickly as he could.

“Okay,” I said to them and to myself. “Back to blocks.”

Kids’ ability and our expectations

Perhaps at some point you have encountered a moment where your expectations of kids’ ability was different than what was actually the case. Maybe you chose an activity that was too easy or a game that was just too hard (whoops). The consequences might not be as obvious, but choosing music that does not match a child’s developmental abilities prevents them from really understanding what they are singing, though they might be able to recite the words.

Maybe you’ve had the common experience of hearing a kid sing a song with inappropriate words and upon asking them what the song means, they reply that they really don’t know–they just like it.

The same scenario can occur when you are seeking to teach kids songs with words you do want them to take to heart, such as songs about Jesus or lessons from the Bible. Reciting the words is different from understanding, and knowing where the kids you care about are in terms of mental development can go a long ways in discipling them on their level.

It can be hard to keep track of each age group, so I created a quick reference guide for you to download and use as you plan lessons and music for Sunday School or just hanging at home. It includes key characteristics of each age group, so you can tailor your lessons to speak right to where the kids are.

Download the free child development quick-reference guide here: KidTunz_Quick_Reference

Have you ever planned a lesson that just didn’t hit home with the kids you were teaching? How did you respond?

Not sure where to go from here? We created albums specific to each age group to get you started!

8 Songs for Kids to Sing at Christmas

Christmas log

 

There is something wonderful about how the classic Christmas songs can provide a festive soundtrack to the season’s memories.  We’ve compiled a list of Christmas KidTunz songs to add to these classics, so the kids have songs made just for them! 

 

Christmas is Good News

 

Tell the Good News

 

We Will Call Him Lord

 

Silent Night

 

Have You Heard the Good News?

 

Happy Birthday, Jesus

 

Make me a Servant, Humble and Kind

 

The Gift of My Heart

 

It’s Time to Celebrate

 

I will Bring my Worship

Kids Music Online to Help Kids Choose Good Friends

“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future,” one of my daughters told me.

“Where’d you hear that?,” I asked.
“Pastor Eric,” she replied.
“That’s good stuff,” I said as I handed her a granola bar.
“Yep!” She ran up the stairs.

Our daughter was just entering Junior High and the idea of choosing friends wisely began to take on a whole new meaning…for her AND for the parents.

Part of me wanted to isolate her from any potential “bad” influences while the other side of me said that they must learn to grow wisely even in adverse circumstances.

One thing I did discover is that music goes a long way in shaping a child’s heart and mind. Here are some songs that will help your children think about the kinds of friends they choose.

 

Many Good Friends

 

“…Find a hand and shake it! Find a back and pat it!
Find a pal and hug ‘em real big. God gives us many good friends.
God gives us many good friends. God gives us many good friends…”

 

Friends are a Gift

“Friends are a gift from God who loves us.
Friends are a gift from God who cares.
Friends help us when we’re down; they turn our frowns around.
Friends are a gift from the Lord.”

 

A Good Friend

“Jesus is my best friend. I love Him, and He loves me.
Jesus is my best friend. I love Him, and He loves me.
God gives us friends to love us and help us. 
A good friend loves all the time.”

 

Hey — Watch Your Company

“Everybody wants to hang with friends_to be cool. 
But it ain’t always hip to keep the golden rule. 
So, be aware be alert_don’t be no fool. 

Bad company will make you break every rule. 
And leave you walkin’ down a fool’s road…”

 

A Friend like Barnabas

“What kind of friend do you want to be? What is it others will say?
Do you give more than what you expect in return or does it always have to be your way?
Make me a friend like Barnabas, encouraging, faithful and true.
Give me a heart of compassion, showing love in all I do.”

 

Music as an Effective Discipleship Tool for Children

Music can serve as a lifelong discipleship tool. Research demonstrates that musical training can increase children’s working memory capacity. And the repetition, rhyme and rhythm of songs combined with the brain’s plasticity during childhood can cause songs to stay with children long into adulthood. The ways people use and access music have shifted with the increasing availability of music online, including how people incorporate music into the church.

Below is an interview with composer John Morton, who has written, produced and published hundreds of children’s songs for curricula for companies such as Standard Publishing and Group Publishing. He is also the co-founder of the nonprofit, EduCAN Development Corporation, and has been invited to various countries throughout East Africa to train teachers in child development.

We sat down to discuss the music trends he’s observed over the years and how children’s ministry leaders can use music to effectively teach children biblical principles.

A: What are some shifts or trends you have observed in how children’s church leaders use music?

One thing I’ve observed is that there is no longer a common set of songs that children know and sing across many different churches and regions. You can’t assume children know particular songs now because there are so many for leaders to choose from, as well as so many more ways to find songs than in the past.

Another would be an increase in leaders using adult worship songs in kids’ ministry services. Leaders do have more songs to choose from this way, but adult songs can be less effective in terms of discipleship, since so many of them contain a lot of metaphors and abstract concepts that children do not yet have the cognitive ability to understand.

A: Oh, I hadn’t considered that. So, how would kids’ comprehension of songs be different between preschool and elementary school?

In preschool, children are not able to understand abstract ideas, so it is important to sing songs that include very concrete and literal language. The songs should include repetition, easy melodies and simple lyrics that connect children with sensory details of biblical stories. What did characters see or touch? The kids may be able to sing more complex tunes, but the key is to sing songs that they actually understand. Checking in by asking questions about what they think a song is about is a good way to measure whether it’s a good fit for them.

A: And elementary school?

Kids begin to understand more abstract concepts at around the ages of seven or eight , but there is still a large gap between early elementary and late elementary in terms of cognitive development. In early elementary, simpler songs are still the best way to engage the children, but as they get older, children develop a wider vocal range and more complex vocabulary, and can therefore sing songs with more complexity in terms of structure, melody and content.

Just like speaking and reading, singing can provide children with opportunities to develop their language abilities, as they interact with teachers and peers and use words to communicate meaning.

It’s not as common as it used to be in churches, but using simple rhythm instruments during worship or class time can further engage the children as well. They can keep time with woodblocks, rhythm sticks, or instruments of their own making, keeping their minds, mouths and hands fully engaged throughout the songs.

A: Early middle school is sometimes considered to be part of children’s ministry; would music change much between late elementary and middle school?

In early middle school, kids begin to exert more independence, entering the more “grown up phase.” They may not be as enthusiastic about the sillier songs as they were before and it is important for leaders to consider the fact that young boys’ voices are changing when they choose a song’s key. By middle school, the students can begin worshipping Jesus from their own hearts, so leaders could even ask them for input as to what songs they would like to sing.

A: How do you think children’s ministry leaders can help teach kids what it means to worship Jesus from their own hearts?

When teaching children how to worship, it is most important to convey what worship i s , and not necessarily what it is “supposed” to look like . Worship is ascribing worth to God, and it can take many forms. Children may have ways that they like to worship God that might look different than adults. Allowing them freedom to express what is in their hearts for God in their kid-like ways teaches them about having a heart for God and not necessarily just doing church-like things.

Modeling life with Jesus is very important, as is living in community. It is important to keep in mind, though, that discipleship is not about enculturating kids or showing them how to simply fit-in with the rest of the church-goers. It is about teaching them who God is, what he has done for them and what it means to have a relationship with him, which includes expressing their hearts in worship.

A: Any last parting thoughts?

Just one thing. Worship styles come and go, but the fact that music enables kids to memorize principles and verses will stay the same. The heart of worship stays the same. The purpose of kids’ church is to train children to know and love Jesus, and that is the most important thing.

Musical ways to reach out to your neighborhood

Gone are the days of asking your next-door neighbor for a cup of sugar, but nevertheless, putting in the effort to reach out to your neighbors can create a greater sense of well-being. 

Neighbors are close in proximity and can serve as a great support system, offering a variety of skill sets and perspectives. Perhaps you can trade your car repair skills for a neighbor’s reupholstery abilities, for example, cutting costs for both families. You and your trusted neighborly friends can watch one another’s kids in an emergency or after school. Your children can learn about other families’ holiday traditions and you can share your own traditions, too.

It can be a challenge to find ways to reach out to neighbors today, but music can open the door to share the love of Christ by inviting others into your everyday life. Here are a few ways to jumpstart your brainstorming:

Dress rehearsal dinner

Perhaps a child in your life tends to get stage fright before school or church plays; chances are, one or two of their friends tend to get nervous as well. Instead of simply encouraging your child to muster up the courage on their own, you can bring in their nervous friends to show the kids how they can work together to be brave.

Reach out to the children’s parents and invite them to a “dress rehearsal dinner” at your home, to share a meal and watch the children perform their lines or songs before the big event. This will enable them to practice in an encouraging environment and create space for the kids to share their fears with one another and commit to standing together in the performance.  They can talk about how they might be able to help each other if one gets scared or forgets their lines.  This will teach the children how to be brave and also to connect with the people around them, as you connect with the parents as well. Who knows—it might even become a tradition worth keeping!

Tiny yard-concert change-raiser

This is a musical lemonade stand for social good! If your kids and/or neighbor children enjoy singing or playing instruments, show them how to use their talents for others’ benefit by hosting a tiny concert in the yard, with lemonade sales to raise money/change for a cause they care about. The “stage” can simply be a couple of chairs or perhaps the front steps or porch of the house.  You can print off simple advertisements to post around the neighborhood with the kids or use social media to reach out to your neighbors if you’re connected with them online.

On the day of the tiny “event”, the kids can set up the table for hot chocolate or lemonade and then play their favorite songs. You can encourage the kids to reach out to the neighbors that come by, with your supervision. At the end of the allotted time, you can count the donations raised through the kids’ musical venture, and then send a follow up to the neighborhood and celebrate their willingness to serve.

Mini music club

The American Psychological Association cites Dr. Daniel J. Levitin’s research which says that listening to and playing music increases antibody production in the body’s immune system, as well as decreases the stress hormone, cortisol.  Children face a variety of stressors as they grow up and music can be a healthy means of stress relief, providing them with a fun and relaxing way to cope with life’s challenges. Though disciplined practice definitely has a valuable place, music can also be a form of play for children as they simply play music for the fun of it.

One way to reach out to your neighborhood is to invite a few neighbor friends over to join the musical club once a week or month with their kazoos, guitars, recorders, keyboards or other instruments to sit and play together. The music they create might not sound pleasant, but it will give the kids an opportunity to practice playing and creating together as a team.  You can help them obtain the chords to a favorite song to learn together or show them the basics of how to improvise on the spot.  Children that might not have other exposure to music can learn along with the others in a low-pressure environment, much like the porch-pickers of years past. If they spend their childhood practicing music consistently with friends, who knows what they could create as they get older?

You can also invite the children’s parents to a periodic “concert” to showcase the kids’ creations or even invite them to participate in the club themselves, if they are musicians, composers or vocalists. It can be as organized or simple as fits with your current season, being just an hour on the porch once a week or something more elaborate.

 

What challenges have you faced in reaching out to your neighbors? When is a time when someone has reached out to your family? How did your family interact with neighbors growing up and what was the effect of that interaction/lack of interaction?

7 More Game On! VBS Songs

VBS 2018 Theme from LifeWay VBS on Vimeo.

In LifeWay’s VBS, Game On! kids learn how to “gear up for God’s big game”!

“LifeWay’s VBS invites your kids to grab their megaphones, lace up their cleats, and tune up their instruments. As they fill up the offensive line, sideline, and drumline, your players, cheerleaders, and band members will realize God has given them His ultimate playbook. He wants them to join His team, train hard, celebrate salvation, and encourage one another. Get in the spirit today with Game On! VBS.”

Here are some KidTunz songs to add throughout the week for even more spirit at VBS or to keep the kids humming at home even after VBS is over:

“Be Brave! Be Strong!”

Be brave! Be strong! The Lord your God is with you.
Put faith in Him! There’s nothing He can’t do.

God walks with you like a mighty warrior.
He surrounds you with His favor like a shield.
He has put you here for such a time as this.
Now trust Him ‘til His plan is revealed.

“Cross Training”

Do the spiritual stretch. Reach for the prize.
Jump at the chance to exercise.
Sit up. Push up. Lift up. Pull up. Don’t give up.
You’re cross training for life; cross training for life.

“Power Up! (Jesus Helps You)”

“Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up! (clap, clap) Get in shape God’s way.

Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up today!

One! Two! He’ll make you a powerhouse for Him.
Three! Four! Let the Lord build you from within.”

“Firm Believers”

Firm believers, standing strong on faith.
Firm believers, exercise is what it takes
To build up those muscles of spirituality.
Firm believers, that’s what we wanna be.

Every day in every way we’re working it out;
Training to be more like Chirst.
I help you, and you help me to follow His example
So others will see Jesus in our lives.

“Jesus Cares for Everyone”

Jesus, Jesus cares for everyone. Jesus knows me and He loves me.
Jesus, I will thank You as I pray. Jesus, I will love You every day. 

“God is in Control”

God is in control. He is with me wherever I go.
God is in control. He is strong and powerful. He will help me, I know.

God knows how to help me. I believe in Him.
He is kind to hear me and give me faith to win.

“Is Your Joy Bubbling Up?”

Is your joy bubbling up?* Clap your hands, sing about Jesus.
Is your joy bubbling up?* Tell the world about His love.
Is your joy bubbling up?* Clap your hands, sing about Jesus.
Tell the world that Jesus cares!

*(Can you’re feet not stand still?)
*(Do you feel you could shout?) 

LifeWay’s Game On! VBS is a great way to integrate discipleship with exercise and activity, training both body and mind. I hope these additional songs contribute to your church’s VBS week and to the ongoing process of training the kids to love and know Jesus with every aspect of their lives.

How do you incorporate music into Vacation Bible School? What have you found effective in helping kids remember and understand VBS songs?

The benefits of being in a church children’s choir

smiling girl in choir!

Children’s choirs can have impact beyond just the performances for which they practice. Choir directors and those that teach kids music through their lessons or service time at church influence children’s lives in ways that extend beyond children’s church and into the future. Here are a few things I took away from growing up in church choirs. What would you add?

Friendships

One day while sitting in 7th grade geography class, I remember my classmates staring as bearded, biker-looking Mr. Smith (name changed) intensely questioned my faith beliefs and why I chose to believe in Jesus. After taking ownership of my relationship with Jesus the year prior, these faith discussions had become relatively usual in my public school setting. 

In light of those sometimes-intense moments, choir practice on Sunday mornings became a time of reprieve, where I was able to set the defenses aside and be in a setting that didn’t require them.  It was an opportunity to sing songs alongside a few friends, working together toward a common goal. And though I wasn’t aware of it at the time, the consistency of seeing these friends week to week provided support to thrive at public school. We sang together and went on choir tour trips, where we would sing and serve in other communities, creating opportunities to go deeper in friendship and understand what it means to use our gifts for others’ benefit.

Musical Training

Along with consistently providing opportunities to develop friendships, kids’ choir also created the opportunity for musical concepts to be cemented into our minds from an early age. 

We learned how to follow along to music sheets and anticipate melodies and harmonies by reading music. We learned vocal warm-ups and how to pronounce particular words for the best pitch and sound. We practiced singing in front of crowds of all sizes, reducing stage fright little by little by performing throughout the years.  We practiced stage presence and how to convey the feeling of songs through facial expressions to engage audiences.

We practiced blending our voices with those around us, to ensure that the sound was cohesive and that no one person’s was heard above the rest.  We learned teamwork as we picked up on parts we didn’t quite have memorized yet by listening to those next to us, practicing the part until we had it down. We learned the basic building blocks of creative, musical expression which we could build upon in the future and use to express meaning to others.

Though, to my knowledge, few of the people from those choir days have chosen to become professional musicians, the skills we developed throughout our years of practice still prove valuable, in public speaking, in laying the groundwork for working with others, in different means of creative expression. Those are valuable throughout many areas of life.

Song Truths

Walking the halls at school, often times I would rehearse my parts from choir in my head, while also unintentionally rehearsing the truths the songs contained. Even today, many of those songs are ingrained in my mind, and as I have grown, the words have taken on new depth and meaning. 

For example, a re-make of the hymn “Nothing But the Blood” has continually stuck with me since we learned it in junior high choir, continually resonating in different ways as the seasons have brought deeper understanding of grace and how Jesus’ death and life provide the means of healing and righteousness as we walk with him. It has brought comfort to my soul many times.

And as you rehearse songs with the children and students, it creates opportunity for the Holy Spirit to use those truths down the road by bringing them to mind and revealing different aspects of who he is.

 

Start where you are

Not all churches have choirs of any kind as worship styles have changed, but even simply bringing children together to sing and practice their musical skills can enable musical members of the church to use their gifts for the next generation, while also instilling additional skills into the children’s repertoire at an early age. Choir can also provide musical opportunities to children that may not be able to afford private instrument or vocal lessons. 

Choirs and teaching kids musical skills don’t have to be huge productions, but can be once a week, once a month or even once a quarter, depending on the resources and people available. Whatever it looks like, in a time when consuming often usurps creativity and critical thinking, being intentional about making space to develop these skills becomes even more valuable.

 

Did you grow up in children’s choir or other musical groups? Now that you’re a few years down the road, how did it affect you? Have you decided to teach your kids music?

Meet a KidTunz Composer: Sarah Moore

Picture of Sarah Moore, KidTunz Composer

 

Sarah Moore is a producer, composer and vocalist based out of Orlando, Florida. She has written over 500 songs, composing for companies such as Music Precedent, Strang Communications/Charisma Life Publishers, Integrity Music, The American Bible Society, Gospel Publishing House, and Radiant Music.  She’s worked as the vocal contractor and director for Walt Disney World and as the children’s choir director for the PBS show, “Dooley and Pals”.

This week we checked in with Sarah and loved hearing about her composing, breaking into song with her sons, and what she’s been working on lately.

 

How did you first begin writing songs?

I guess I was always writing songs in my head, but I didn’t start writing them down until I was in college.  My first songs were about breakups and relationships. Then, I wrote Contemporary Christian songs that I sang for the church.   I didn’t start writing for children until after I had kids.

 

How do you think your songwriting has changed over the years?

This is an interesting and thought-provoking question.  Specifically dealing with children’s music, many things stay the same…but I have noticed a trend towards more intricate rhythms which I love.  When children around the world can sing the music from Disney movies word for word, with all the notes and difficult rhythms spot on…we need to up our game and give them something that excites them, even if there is also challenge involved.

“We need to up our game and give them something that excites them, even if there is also challenge involved.” – Sarah Moore

 

What is a creative way for a family or ministry to incorporate music into their day/service?

I made up tons of songs to sing with my boys.  We had a song to teach them their address, and a song we sang whenever we were going someplace in the car that incorporated our destination or who we were going to see.  We still break into that one every once in a while just for grins.

 

If you could give those who work with children one thing, what would it be?

Don’t underestimate what you have to offer the children.  You may not be a professional singer, but they just need to see that you enjoy singing.  If it seems like fun for you, they will be drawn in. (Click to Tweet) 

 

What is a project you’ve been working on these days?

I’m creating a Spanish version of 5 Christian children’s songs I produced in English for a client last year. He put the songs on Youtube and has had so much international attention that he decided to have the songs translated and go back into the studio.

 

 

We’re so thankful that Sarah has chosen to invest her musical ability and creativity into building up the next generation. Can’t wait to see what she’ll create next. For now, though,  here are some of Sarah’s greatest KidTunz songs!

 

“Firm Believers”

“Firm believers, standing strong on faith.
Firm believers, exercise is what it takes
To build up those muscles of spirituality.
Firm believers, that’s what we wanna be.”

 

“Construction Zone” 

“Welcome to a work in progress. You’ve enterd a construction zone.
We’re building on a firm foundation, but not with brick and stone.
Jesus is the model of perfection. His plans for us are divine.
So, welcome to a work in progress; building character in our lives…in our lives.”

 

“Treasures of the Nile” 

“See God’s plan through history. Everything we do He sees.
He empowers, acts and saves. He’s involved in our lives everyday.

Come join the caravan. Travel to an ancient land.
Explore Egyptian style, treasures of the Nile.”

 

“Espíritu Santo”

“Santo Espíritu, bello regalo de Dios
Guiado por tu luz, serviré al Señor
Ven a mí y lléname,
Yo quiero el poder qu s”lo Tú me das,
Santa Espíritu
Si pido hoy, Tú me das, si yo busco, hallaré
Y si golpeo, se rá abierto,
Tu Espíritu llenará me alma.”

“The Fruit of the Spirit Grows in Me”

“I wanna show God’s love, joy and peace,
Patience, kindness, I want more of these.
Goodness, faithfulness, that’s my goal. I’ll have gentleness and self-control.”

 

See her complete list of KidTunz songs here!

Cokesbury’s Rolling River Rampage: 11 More Songs

Cokesbury's VBS Rolling River RampageAs the end of summer draws near, your ministry may be scoping out next year’s VBS options such as Cokesbury’s Raging River Rampage. Cokesbury’s latest release “invites children on a white-water rafting adventure, to experience the ride of a lifetime with God!” Throughout the week, children engage with the idea that God is always with them through creative crafts, music, science experiments and fun recreation.

If you’re considering this fabulous VBS for next summer, here are some more songs to add to the mix for different age groups!

 

Session 1: Find Adventure on the River!

During the first session, kids hear the story of when Jesus calls the disciples in Matthew 4.

 

“Jesus, I will Follow You”

 

“Come Follow Me”

 

 

Session 2: Find Acceptance on the River!

During the second session, the story of Jesus’ acceptance of Mary and Martha helps to teach the kids that they are accepted by God.

 

“Jesus Offers Us Eternal Life”

 

“Build Each Other Up”

 

 

Session 3: Find Joy on the River!

The third session is all about Jesus going to Zacchaeus’s house and how we can find joy in Jesus.

 

“Is Your Joy Bubbling Up?” 

 

“Be Joyful Always” 

 

 

Session 4: Find Rest on the River!

Children can accept Jesus’ invitation to rest in him as they learn about his last supper with the disciples before he was crucified.

 

“Come to Me” 

 

 

Session 5: Find Peace on the River!

 

As the week ends with the last session, children leave with Jesus’ parting words to the disciples in Matt. 28: 16-20 and his promise of peace to all of those who choose to embark on the adventure of life with him.

“The Peace Giver” 

 

“They Continued to Tell”

 

“You Know My Heart”

 

“Tell the Good News”

 

 

Have fun out on the raging river! We’ll talk to you soon!

16 More Songs for Maker Fun Factory VBS

The Maker Fun Factory VBS is packed with creative lessons to teach kids that God built them for a purpose. Take a look at the trailer to catch a glimpse of it for yourself!

The VBS kit comes with volunteer manuals, DVD’s, music and tons of other resources, but if you want to incorporate even more music into the week, we’ve compiled a list of 16 KidTunz songs that match each day’s theme to play during the pre-service, rotation transitions, craft time or other VBS moments!

 

Day 1 – God Made You

“Because you made me”

“God made me special” 

“God made you”

 

 

Day 2 – God is for you

“Power Up! Jesus helps you”

“You can talk to God” 

“God sees”

 

Day 3 – God is always with you

“Be Brave! Be strong!”

“God is always with us wherever we go”

“Do not fear”

 

Day 4 – God will always love you

“God would still love me”

“How great is the love?”

“The Source”

“God loves us all the same”

 

Day 5 – God made you for a reason

“God’s plan is perfect”

“A fruit that grows”

“Construction Zone”

Have fun making and creating! We’ll talk to you soon!

13 Snappy Songs to Enrich KidMin Science “Faith Lab” VBS

KidMin Science produces an exceptionally creative VBS called  “Faith Lab” that is “science-inspired and Christ-focused”!  The week’s curriculum tackles 5 subjects that are based on the word FAITH: Faith, Almighty, Influence, Temptation and Heaven, with a daily devotion and kid-friendly science project(s) for each.

Faith Lab includes an album of music with songs that correspond to each devotion by Lantern Music, but if you want to add even more songs to the week’s activities, check out this list of 13 KidTunz songs specifically compiled to enrich “Faith Lab” lessons!

Day 1: Faith

1. “God’s Way” by Phil Reynolds

2. “Believe in God” by Phil Reynolds

 

3. “Forgiveness” by John H. Morton

Day 2: Almighty

4. “God Created It All” by Phil Reynolds

 

5. “Faith Is…” by John H. Morton

 

6. “God’s Power is Greater” by John H. Morton

 

Day 3: Influence

7. “Let Your Light Shine” by John H. Morton

 

8. “Light of the World” by Sarah Moore

 

Day 4: Temptation

9. “When I Follow Jesus” by John H. Morton

 

10. “The Lord Looks at the Heart” by Sarah Moore

 

11. “The Great Transformer” by John H. Morton

Day 5: Heaven

12. “Treasures in Heaven”  by Phil Reynolds

 

13.“No Eye Has Seen” by John H. Morton

 

Have fun experimenting!

How Music Changes Your Brain and Life

Music has the power to change one’s life! Are you skeptical of that? Let’s look at some research and some of our own experiences to test the truth of that statement.

Music Changes the Brain

Current brain research suggests that when we actively participate in music it helps develop brain systems that aid in language development and literacy. It also has a positive impact on general intellectual development. One gains various health and well being benefits as well (Hallam, 2010). Read More »