All posts written by Jared Kennedy

5 Great Children’s Music Resources

Awesome God: Worship Songs for Children, Sovereign Grace Music (BMI), 2004. This is a very gospel-centered children’s worship album by Bob Kauflin, Mark Altrogge, and the other leaders of Sovereign Grace Music.  “Almighty Creator,” “Jesus Came To Earth,” and “Mighty, Mighty Savior” are all SojournKids’ music favorites.  Samples, lead sheets, transparency lyric sheets, and chord sheets are all available for free at the Sovereign Grace site.  Piano scores, MP3 downloads, and even accompaniment tracks are available for a small fee.  The album is also  available on iTunes.  I highly recommend it.

Songs that Jesus Said: Scripture Into Music by Keith and Kristyn Getty, Getty Music, 2005. Many of you are familiar with the music of Keith and Kristyn Getty.  They are the modern hymn writers who, along with their writing partner Stuart Townsend, have brought us modern hymns like “In Christ Alone.”  What you may not know is that the Gettys have their own children’s music album.  The Gettys plan a series of albums which will incorporate key bible passages and stories into new songs that give children the big picture of the Bible.  Some favorites with SojournKids are “Stop and Think” and “Once Upon a Boat.  Some of the songs sound a little like show tunes, but they are all very well done.  If you are interested in learning more, check out the album, sheet music, and lead sheets.

Seeds Family Worship This is not a single album, but a series of scripture memory albums for use in family worship.  Their mission is to “plant the seeds of God’s Word in the hearts of families.”  When you order one packet of seeds (a CD), Seeds will send you a second copy to give away to a friend.  The scripture memory songs are based on the New International Version.  A favorite with the Kennedy family is the Seeds of Faith album.  Doug Wolter recommends their Power of Encouragement CD, and he has referenced a “doable devotion” that accompanies the song, “Heavenly Lights.”  On the Seeds website, you’ll find free chord sheets and scripture memory cards as well as links to other Seeds Family Worship resources.  You can find Seeds Family Worship on iTunes, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

Teach Me While My Heart Is Tender by Judy Rogers, Judy Rogers, 1995. Here you will find over 30 of Judy Rogers’ songs for children in one album.  Songs 1-16 rehearse truths taught in the Catechism for Boys and Girls.  “God Made Me” is a SojournKids’ preschool favorite.  The remaining songs on the album rehearse biblical truths for children from the Proverbs and about spiritual warfare.  You will find audio files on Judy Rogers’ website.  You can also find complete lyrics here.  Sheet music for most of the songs is also available for purchase at Rogers’ site.

Hide the Word: Scripture Memory Songs, Volumes 1-8, by Mark Altrogge (Forever Grateful Music) Mark Altrogge’s  eight scripture memory albums are a great value, because they contain about twenty songs apiece.  Hide the Word combines the power of music with the power of repetition to aid the listener in memorizing God’s Word.   Each Scripture, including its reference, is made into a song.   Then, each Scripture is repeated at least 3 times per song.  The early albums in the series are based on the New International Version.  Later albums are based on the English Standard Version.  I’ve put together a Scripture Index for volumes 1-7.  Recently, Sojourn’s kids have been memorizing Romans 5:8 from volume 2.

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Dedication

On Sunday, April 19th, we will take time during our regular services to celebrate beginnings.  Parents from within our community will come to go public with their desire to raise their children in light of the gospel and to humbly ask for the church’s help.  Sojourn parents will bring their children for dedication-committing to parent with open hands because all that we have is from the Lord.  Here is a brief preview of our public covenant–the commitment that we will make to one another.  Continue Reading…

Henry Zonio: Good Friday Reflection

Good Friday / Viernes Santo, originally uploaded by victor_nuno.

I got to hang out with David and Ali Kidd this afternoon.  It was good to hear about their “devotional time” with their children last night and today.  David is talking about the gravity of the cross with his kids on this Good Friday.  Along the same lines, Henry Zonio offers his reflections.  It is a good word.

Growing up in an evangelical church, we never spent much time on the church calendar other than Christmas and Easter. I never really knew what Lent was let alone Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday was simply the day Jesus died on the cross.

Take time to be broken. Take time to mourn. Take time to cry. Take time to be humbled by what Christ did for you on that cross. And dwell there for a while. It’ll make Easter that much more celebratory!

As I got older and broadened my faith experiences and met more people from varied church backgrounds, I began to learn more about the rich traditions that existed in church history. One of them being Good Friday.

My wife pointed this out to me today as she was perusing her Facebook friends’ status updates, and I noticed the same thing: people are expressing well wishings of “Happy Good Friday!” or “What a Wonderful Good Friday!” We, in the contemporary evangelical church, have lost the significance of Good Friday; we miss the point.

Good Friday isn’t about joy. Yes, we are thankful and celebrate the sacrifice Christ made for us. But Good Friday is a time to reflect on how much that sacrifice really cost. It is a time to reflect on the pain and sorrow and agony that accompanied being beaten, abandoned, falsely accused, publicly humiliated and brutally killed. Christ went through all of that for us; God went through all of that for us. Us, who didn’t deserve it

We don’t like to dwell on sad things. We don’t like to mourn. We don’t like to be broken. We don’t like to cry. But there are times that we need to do just those things, and Good Friday, historically, is the time to do that. I don’t think we can truly appreciate and grasp the enormity of Christ’s death unless we let the gravity of it weigh on us for a time.

As children’s ministers (and as parents), we need to help our children sense this as well. Children need to know in age-appropriate ways that what Jesus went through was cruel and painful and sad. And they do need to understand that he went through all of that so we didn’t have to and so that we could be with him forever. Yes, we bring kids beyond his death to the resurrection when he beat death and sin, but I don’t think we need to be so quick about making that transition sometimes… especially during Good Friday.

HT: Henry Zonio / CC BY-SA 2.5

Top 10 Ways to Bless Sojourn’s Kids and Families on Easter

easter

1.  If you are scheduled to serve, come and serve with a joyful heart.

2.  If you aren’t on the schedule, come and serve when you are available!

3.  Come early!  Come to the 930 as early as 8:00AM (or 3:30 PM).  Help with last minute chores, or lend an extra hand to the Connect Team!

4.  If you aren’t busy, help with registration.  Carry a diaper bag or help hold a child while new families fill out registration papers.

5. Celebrate our crucified and risen Lord!  When we do the kids’ music liturgy this week, sing out!  Be an example for our kids.

6. Teach from your heart about the gospel of resurrection!  He is risen!

7. Pray for our teachers.  Pray that they will teach and lead with energy from Gods’ spirit.

8. Pray for our families.  Pray that God will bind them together in unity by the power of his great love.

9. Pray for our kids.  Pray that God will change their hearts by the gospel.

10.  Come back for classes on Wednesday night (to serve or to learn), and come back for our Baby Dedication next week.

New Kids’ Song: God’s Love Goes On Forever

Listen to Kyle Noltemeyer and Chandi Plummer rock out to this new song!  We’ll close out our Easter music liturgy with this one.  Here is the chord sheet as well.  Blessings!

VERSE 1:
Love.
God loves you.
Love.
God loves me.
Love.
God is love and God loves you and me.

CHORUS:
God’s love goes on forever (2x)
God’s love goes on for-ev-er-more!

VERSE 2:
Love.
Jesus came.
Love.
Jesus died
Love.
on the cross and He rose up from the dead.

REPEAT CHORUS.

VERSE 3:
Love.
Love Jesus.
Love.
Love Him first.
Love.
Love all people as you love yourself.

REPEAT CHORUS TWICE.

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