Coffee Break, Children's Ministry
Top 10 Children's Worship Songs? Top 20? Current, Catchy, or Compelling?
August 7, 2015
Updated September 6, 2018
4 comments 2583 views
Friends in Christ:
I have been involved in children's worship in terms of music and song for a number of years in a couple of different churches, and I have a struggle at the beginning of every season: What songs do we teach these children? Do we teach them what is current? What is catchy? Or what is compelling in these beginning stages of their Christian walk?
So I began to wonder if there is some sort of "Top 10" list out there. Without seeming trite, I was thinking: "what are the top 10, or even top 20 children's songs that are of utmost importance to teach our children that will be formative in their Christian lives?" Many of us have songs in our heads that pop up from our childhood years that creep into our lives and we remember biblical truths because of these simple songs. And the correlation between music and memorization of text is so critical, especially in early childhood.
So, what do we teach these children? Do we focus on the best contemporary worship songs? Do we dig deep into our own years of Sunday School worship to find some of our own favorites? Or do we stick to songs that are straight biblical text, given the music-memorization correlation? I often feel so limited in how much time we have to teach these children in a few minutes on a Sunday morning, and so I want to pick the best songs for Christian formation in their little lives.
Friends, what would your "Top 10" be? Top 20? Does it include both "My God Is So Great" AND "Lord, I Lift Your Name on High"? What do you see as the most critical songs to be teaching our children in worship today?
Many thanks in advance for any response or input. It is already August, and September always comes so quickly...
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I was a kid with pretty high levels of anxiety, and a song that I first learned from a Psalty video (remember those?!) that was helpful to me was "I will cast all my cares upon you."
My daughter's favorite was from the Music Machine - "Have patience, have patience, don't be in such a hurry!". So I'm definitely not against new choruses. I also love the 'goldie oldies', Psalms refrains, and global choruses with simple percussion!
When I used to plan for an upcoming season of ministry with Story Hour kids (preschoolers), we would have a core set of a few songs we wanted to use all year, and then we would accent that short list with songs that told the biblical story - so we would start with a few creation songs in September, then teach a few O.T. songs of God's care, and by advent we could sing about Jesus coming to earth. January let us sing songs about Jesus' life and ministry, and then (you got it!) - as Lent began we could sing about Jesus' death and resurrection. It always worked for us because Story Hour includes the whole biblical narrative each year. But you could do this with any theme you were working with. The fun thing is that the favorites can be brought back any time.
You've got this Brenda! Maybe in a few months you could post your kids' favorites!
It amazes me how God will provide a song in my day to day walk. When my heart is sad - He is there, when I'm full of joy - He is there and when it is just another day - He is there. Many of these songs come to me when I'm alone. Some from my most recent worship experience and many come flowing back from my childhood. Some of my favorites are rich with comfort and reassurance of God's love, repeating the same phrase over and over to create a form of meditation to our Lord and Saviour.
We really can not go wrong with any Christ-centered songs that reinforce the Word of God. Having a connection to the school year theme or bible verse for the day is always nice. I think it is fun to mix it up. It's great to have the fun jumping around the room praising God songs and a time for quiet peaceful meditation.
I could go on and on with favorite songs. But what I'm really thankful for are the Sunday school teachers and choir directors in my life that taught me and gave me a life long blessing of singing God praises.
Jesus Love Me is timeless and ageless.
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