Children's Music

6 More Children's Music Resources

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

In 2009, I posted about 5 great children's music resources. Here are a few more that I've come across since that time: Big Stories for Little Ones by Rain for Roots is my favorite album of this bunch. It combines the writing talents of Sally Lloyd-Jones with the music of Sandra McCracken, Ellie Holcomb, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser. The result is a record of God-centered folksy lullabies that you'll love. The album is only available for download at their website.

Since 2009, Sovereign Grace Ministries has added two albums to their collection. Walking with the Wise is the their latest. It joins  To Be Like Jesus (June 2009) and Awesome God (Aug. 2004). The latest CD unpacks truths from the book of Proverbs. It teaches us that being wise is more than just knowing a lot and being smart. It involves fearing the Lord and believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins and rose from the dead so that we could be forgiven and follow Him. That kind of wisdom is more important than anything in the world. The CD contains lead sheets, guitar charts, and accompaniment tracks to all the songs. You can buy it from the Sovereign Grace online store, or download the MP3 album.

I'm a big fan of the Ask Me Whooo catechism CDs from Diana Beach Batarseh. Catechism is simply using a question and answer format to teach basic Bible truth. One of the most famous catechisms is the Westminster Shorter Catechism, written in the 1600s by English and Scottish Divines. In the late 1800s, Joseph Engels adapted this body of work into what we call the Children's First Catechism. More recently, Great Commission Publications adapted Engel's work to make it more accessible to moderns, and Diana has used GCP's wording in 74 catechism songs.

Jesus Saves Sinners by Village Kids. In 2010, the Village Church released their  a Kids EP containing 5 original songs that teach children about the character and nature of God and His plan to save sinners through Jesus Christ.  These songs correspond with the five foundational truths taught as a part of Village’s preschool ministry, The Little Village--(1) Jesus Came to Save Sinners, (2) God is Good, (3) God is in Charge of Everything, (4) God Wants to Talk with Us, (5) God Made Everything. It's a great little gospel-centered Texas/Country/Rock album for kids. Here is the link on iTunes.

The Rizers is a group of musicians from Mars Hill Church in Seattle who have created a bunch of scripture memory songs from the NIV, set to synth-heavy, punk dance sounds. The “band” is Gracie, Matty C., Ayo, Mei Mei, and Johnny Danger. Like Gorillaz, The Rizers are a made-up cartoon band with invented personalities for each member. They have two albums currently: Meet the Rizers and Rise Up!  Check out Tyler Ratliff's review of the second album.

Finally, Jesus Wants My Heart by Daniel Renstrom is a CD written for the Treasuring Christ children's ministry curriculum. The music is contemporary and gospel-centered. It is also available on iTunes.

Joseph Liturgy



Leader 1: "Hi, I'm Mr./Ms. (First name)" Leader 2: "Hi, I'm Mr./Ms. (First name)"

Leader 1: Everybody stand up! We’re going to sing about God’s great love for us!

1. "“Your Love," words and music by Bob Kauflin, ©2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God. 

Leader 2: That song talked about God’s amazing love for us. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins, and then He raised Him from the dead. Everyone who trusts Jesus to take away their sins lives with God as His friend. God loves us by making a way for our sins to be forgiven.

God also loves us by watching over us. He is always with us, and we can never get away from Him. He knows when we’re in trouble or when we get scared or need help. Let’s sing a song about God’s love as He watches over us and is always with us.

2. "You Are Always With Me," words and music by Mark Altrogge, ©2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God. 

Leader 1: When we trust in Jesus to take away our sins, we become part of God’s family. We become His children. And if God is our father, we don’t have to worry, because He’ll take care of us!

This is the new song we started to learn last week. It’s about how we don’t have to worry about our problems, or about scary things, or about anything, as long as we’re God’s children. We can laugh about the things that used to scare us, because we know God is bigger than all our trouble.

3. “Laugh,” Words and Music by Jamie Barnes ©2012 Sojourn Music

Laugh at my troubles. Laugh at my pain. Laugh in the face of all that scares me. 

Laugh at the devil. Laugh at the dark. Laugh 'cause I know that the Light has come.

Laugh 'cause he loves me. Laugh 'cause he's mine. He's done so many things that I'm laughin' all the time.

Leader 2: We’re going to pray now. When we talk to God, we need to pay attention to Him, so everybody fold your hands and close your eyes and be still and pay attention to God; we’re going to talk to Him now.

“God, thank You for being with us all the time. You watch over us and protect us. Thank You that You turn every bad thing into something good for everyone who trusts in Your Son Jesus. Please give us grace and help us to trust You whenever we are afraid. Amen.”

God is so loving, and takes such good care of us! He loves us so much He sent Jesus to pay the price for all the times we disobey Him. This good news is so good, we should tell everybody we know about the love God shows in sending Jesus. Let’s go and tell the world about Him!

4. “Go (Matthew 28:19),” written by Jason Houser © 2007 Big Songs of Extreme/Big Loud Songs (ASCAP) Admin. by Big Loud Bucks. Lyrics taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. From The Power of Encouragement.

Leader 1: Thank you for singing and worshiping the Lord with us today! It’s time to find to your teachers and follow them back to your classes.

Meet Tyler Ratliff! Our SojournKids Music Director

UncategorizedJared Kennedy1 Comment

We’re continuing our staff profiles this week with the introduction of Sojourn intern, Tyler Ratliff. Tyler does an amazing job leading our SojournKids Music teams weekly. He schedules the Midtown team, writes the kids liturgy for our teams across our campus network, and he leads the kids band that plays at Midtown on Sundays. I'm really thankful for Tyler. He has always been an amazing musician, and he has grown into an equally amazing children's worship leader. Tyler describes himself this way: "I grew up in Eastern Kentucky and came to Louisville to attend Boyce College for a music degree. I found Sojourn in my senior year and stuck around after graduation. In my spare time, I spend my time like the average American 20-something: reading Patristic literature (that's the Early Church Fathers) and listening to post-rock and ambient music."

1. What is your current role with SojournKids? I'm the Director of Kids' Worship. I choose songs for the kids to sing on Sunday, write a corresponding liturgy, and recruit and schedule musicians to lead the music. I lead Kids' worship songs at Sojourn Midtown during the morning services.

2. What is your favorite part of your job? I love it when kids put things together and answer questions in words we didn't teach them:

Me: "Does anybody know what grace is?"

Three-year-old: "Grace is when we sin but God still loves us!"

That's what this is about.

3. What hopes, dreams, and aspirations do you have? I'd love to be as self-sustaining as possible someday-to grow and raise my own food, and to learn as much as I can about traditional methods for doing it. I'd also love to be a fluent reader of Latin and biblical Greek and Hebrew.

4. What is your favorite / funniest SojournKids memory? One time one of the kids was wearing overalls and walking around, saying "I'm Jamie Barnes! I'm Jamie Barnes!" (Jamie's one of our elders and main worship leaders. He never wears overalls). Later in the day one of the boy's overall straps slipped off. He started saying "I'm Jamie Barnes!" again, and another child said "No, you don't look like him anymore." I have no idea what made them both think he looked like Jamie in the first place; maybe the overall strap?

5. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? What is your favorite Louisville ice cream shop? Hands down! Birthday Cake ice cream from Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen!


Album Review: Rise Up! by The Rizers

UncategorizedAdministrator3 Comments

What if Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and Gwen Stefani made a kids' album with Relient K and Owl City? It would probably sound a lot like Rise Up!, the new album by Washington-based cartoon band The Rizers.

The Rizers are a few musicians from Mars Hill Church who have created a bunch of scripture memory songs from the NIV, set to synth-heavy, current dance sounds with a punk aesthetic. The "band" is Gracie, Matty C., Ayo, Mei Mei, and Johnny Danger. Like Gorillaz, The Rizers are a made-up cartoon band with invented personalities for each member. The website has a short bio for each of the bandmates, and includes a focus on each of their gifts and character strengths. This sets up some good role models for kids to see the fruits of the Spirit in action. Here's an example--bassist Johnny Danger's profile: "He's an 'I Am A Third' kind of guy: God first, others second and himself third. Favorite things: Hawaiian pizza, football, lifting weights, chocolate milk and hanging out with his friends."

The songs themselves vary from the funky pop of "Glory, Glory, Glory!" to the Caribbean feel of "I Can Do Everything!" to the pop-punk breakdowns of "Trust in the Lord!" (my personal favorite). Rise Up! brings the kinds of sounds kids go crazy over. Topics include humility, God's glory, the trustworthiness of Scripture, and Jesus' love for children. Some of the songs will work great to spark a child's curiosity in the gospel, like "Glory, Glory, Glory!" and "A New Creation!"

As a bonus, the cd includes "Rizers Theme Song", a song from the band's last release, Meet the Rizers!

Rise Up! is a great album, it's a welcome addition to our collection of kids' worship songs to use on Sunday, and it's music kids will actually want to listen to at home. Get the cd (and kids' tee shirts too!) or download the album on iTunes and Amazon.

Creation Days Worship Liturgy


Leader 1: Today, we’re going to talk about God our Maker. God made everything. He made you and me, and everything else in the universe. God made us and takes care of us. That’s a great reason to sing praise to him. Let’s stand up and sing to our Almighty Creator. 1. “Almighty Creator” by Mark Altrogge. © 2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International. Used by permission.

Leader 2: Have you ever helped make something? Have you ever helped make cookies, or a craft? When God made everything, He just spoke and it happened! God said “Light!” and… IT HAPPENED. God said “Earth and Sky” and then it happened! God said, “Giraffes, tigers, lions, bears, lizards!” and then it happened. What did God use to make them? Just his Words! What else? Nothing. Let’s all try to do that – we’ll yell out together something we want to make. Let’s try to make a cat. At the count of three, let’s all yell for a cat and see if we can make one with just our words. One.. Two… Three.. CAT!! We can’t do it, can we? Only God can make something out of nothing. It’s so amazing that God made everything with just His words! Let’s sing the next song about how powerful God’s word is.

2. "The Word of the Lord" Written by Rodney Clawson © 2004 Writer’s Extreme Music / Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Co. (BMI) Lyrics taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Leader 1: God made the world, and it was good. But we do things that aren’t good. We sin and disobey God, and deserve to be in trouble with Him. God sent Jesus to the earth He created. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead so that everyone who trusts Him will be saved. God loves everything He made so much that He sent Jesus. The next song is about God’s gift of Jesus.

3. “Jesus Came to Earth” by Solomon Campbell, Dave Campbell, and Bob Kauflin. © 2004 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) and Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International. Used by permission.

Leader 2: We’re going to pray now, so everybody fold your hands and close your eyes and be still and pay attention to God; we’re going to talk to Him now. “God, thank You so much for making everything. Thank You that You’re so kind and good to Your creation, even when we don’t deserve it. You love us so much that You sent Jesus and made a way for us to be forgiven and friends with You. Please help us understand and believe this good news. Amen.”

God made everything, and He takes good care of what He made. He makes the earth produce food, He makes the sun shine, and He makes so many beautiful things all around us. He loves His creation and takes care of it all. Most of all, He shows His loving care by sending Jesus. Let’s sing about how good and gracious God is to His creation!

4. "Good and Gracious" Music and words by Rich Gunderlock and Bob Kauflin © 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From To Be Like Jesus. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International.