I’m thrilled that our latest kids’ album, Walking with the Wise, is finally available. This is the third Sovereign Grace kids’ album, the second being To Be Like Jesus (June 2009), and the first, Awesome God (Aug. 2004).
Walking with the Wise contains 13 songs based on different verses from the book of Proverbs. Titles include W-I-S-D-O-M, Make Me Wise, A Good Friend, Lazy Bones, A Cheerful Heart, and All Ears.
While the number of “worship CDs” for children has increased exponentially in recent years and may have reached a saturation point, many of them assume that kids are already Christians. One of our aims in making kids’ albums is to help parents raise children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord.” We write most of the songs in a way that proclaims truth rather than simply being an expression of a child’s heart.
This approach can make the album sound less “worshipful,” but in the long run, we think it better represents what’s happening when kids sing. They’re memorizing words that will hopefully influence the way they view God, themselves, and the world. While there’s certainly a place for kids singing songs of praise to God directly (Mt. 21:16.), music is also a tool to teach teach kids truths about God, God’s Word, how we’re relate to him and each other, and most importantly, who Jesus is and what he did to rescue us from our sin.
For example, here’s verse 1 from Mark Altrogge’s song, “Where It All Begins,” which teaches about the fear of the Lord (Prov. 1:7).
When others try to draw you in
So you would join them in their sin
The fear of God will keep you safe
And give you strength to run away
Here’s another sample from a song Stephen Altrogge and I wrote called, “To Tell the Truth,” based on Prov. 12:19 and Prov. 25:18.
A little lie seems harmless like ordinary words
But lies we tell to others are like a sword that hurts
When someone tries to tell me that covering up’s okay
Don’t let me be dishonest, help me to humbly say
To tell the truth is what I want to do
Because You love the lips that speak the truth
To tell a lie leads me away from You
So help me, God, to tell the truth
Whenever we produce an album for children, it’s easy to drift into rules and moralism. “Be this way and you’ll be a Christian boy/girl.” We may teach kids what’s right and wrong, but they won’t necessarily see that they need a Savior. So even on an album based on Proverbs, we’ve looked for ways to direct little hearts and minds to the gospel.
This is the chorus to Zach Jones’ song, “I Don’t Have to Hide,” taken from Prov. 28:13:
Blessed is the one who fears the Lord and admits his sin
Blessed is the one who trust the Lord, who alone forgives
Jesus died so I don’t have to hide anymore.
Another example is “Who Can Say,” based on Prov. 20:9:
Who can say, “I have made my heart pure
I am clean from my sin”?
No one’s blameless in God’s holy eyes
That’s why the Savior came
Jesus, Jesus, only You did everything right
Jesus, Jesus, died and rose
So we could have new life
While our kids’ albums are mainly for 6-10 year olds, younger and older kids, and even adults enjoy them. It’s a good thing, because I know some moms (including my oldest daughter) who have been hearing To Be Like Jesus in their car for a year now.
I was grateful for the input of Mike Bradshaw, children’s ministry pastor at my church, who suggested some creative dialogue and musical ideas that made Walking with the Wise more engaging than our previous children’s albums. Right now Mike is in the middle of leading “Summer Celebration,” an event for about 500 6-10 year olds, incorporating many of the songs from Walking with the Wise.
The CD contains lead sheets, guitar charts, and accompaniment tracks to all the songs. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to put these songs to use. You can buy the CD for $12 from the Sovereign Grace online store, or download the MP3 album for $9. You can also hear samples at the Sovereign Grace Music site, and download a free song, Lazy Bones.
Whether you use Walking with the Wise for Vacation Bible school, summer camp, children’s ministry, family worship time, or just singing in the car, we pray these songs will help kids appreciate the precious truths of God’s Word and point them to Jesus Christ, our great Savior.