Archive | —Children

Raising Gospel-Centered Children – An Interview with Marty Machowski

  Training children to put their hope and trust in Christ is one of the greatest privileges we have. Marty Machowski has devoted decades to helping churches and families do just that. Although my kids were grown before he wrote his materials, I read The Gospel Story Bible to my grandkids and can’t recommended his children’s ministry curriculum highly enough. I’m excited that Marty will be teaching seminars at both WorshipGod West and WorshipGod East this year. He graciously took the time to answer a few questions about his life and seminar. 1. Briefly share your testimony of conversion with us. I submitted my life to Christ …

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One More Reason We Make Kids’ Albums

Every so often I’ll run into someone who reminds me that long after we record an album, God continues to use it in people’s lives. In late January, I was in Orange County, CA for a Gathering event. On Sunday morning I spoke at the Sovereign Grace Church of Orange County, led by Eric Turbedsky. It was there I met David and Laura. They shared their story with me and I was so affected that I asked them to send it to me. Here’s what they wrote: We have been blessed with not only a daughter, but God in the last two and a half years has blessed us with four more little ones. These children belonged to my wife’s niece, but because of her constant …

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Resources for Your Worship Team from WorshipGod11: Instruments, General, Children

Yesterday, I posted some of the workshops from WorshipGod11 for leaders, songwriters, and tech teams. Here are a few more that focus on instrumentalists, leading kids to worship Christ, dealing with burnout, and the leader’s prayer life. Donald Whitney shared on simplifying your spiritual life and using Scripture as a basis for your prayers. There’s also a seminar for women taught by my wife that addresses facing every season of life with faith. Enjoy. Bass, Drums, Guitar Strengthening the Drum/Bass Connection, PT1 – Ryan Foglesong and David Zimmer (outline) The foundation of the worship team is the rhythm section composed of the drummer and …

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Desiring God Interview

Last month I had the privilege to lead a few songs at John Piper’s Gravity and Gladness seminar, and participate in a Q&A with Dr. Piper. It was somewhat of a surreal experience sitting next to John answering questions about worship. I first heard the audio of John preaching this series around 2000. As I listened to him again I realized how much his message of both knowing and treasuring the supremacy of God’s glory in Christ has affected my thinking. So grateful for the ways God has used John to magnify the glory of Jesus Christ. After the seminar was over, Jonathan Parnell, content strategist for Desiring God, asked me a few questions …

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Training the Next Generation to Hope in God, Not Us

At last year’s WorshipGod conference, I gave a message on The Future of Worship, based on the opening verses to Psalm 78. I’m increasingly aware of is how important it is to pass on the right things from generation to the next, and this message was an attempt to address that topic. Here’s a 3:45 video clip from that message where I’m focusing on Ps. 78:7: “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments.” I talk about how important it is to make sure those who are following us are putting their hope in God and the gospel – not us, our musical preferences, our technology, or our efforts. What …

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Walking with the Wise – Our Newest Kids’ Album

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 …

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Help Us Choose the Cover for our Next Kids’ Album

Over on Facebook, we asked our Sovereign Grace Music fans to help us pick the idea for our next kids’ album, Walking with Wise. The technology didn’t quite work the way we hoped, so we thought we’d try again on WorshipMatters. First, a little info. As the title suggests, this album will be 13 songs based on the book of Proverbs, with titles like Lazy Bones, A Cheerful Heart, To Tell the Truth, and Trust in the Lord. We try to aim our kids’ albums at  a 6-10 year old audience, although we’ve been told that older and younger children, and even parents, enjoy them, too. Since we’re aware that not every 6-10 year old who will be singing these …

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We Have a Winner

Last night, in the last four hours before midnight, we had a rush of people voting for their favorite To Be Like Jesus video. It was close. At the end of the day (12:02 AM to be exact), Abby Cannon’s video “To Be Like Jesus” edged out Jon Ruth’s video “Gotta Wait” by two votes. The final tally was 123-121. Both videos were really well done. So, in light of that fact, we’re giving the Cannons the $250 Amazon.com first prize, and awarding the Ruth family a $150 Amazon.com gift card. Thanks to both families for participating and for everyone who voted! We plan to have a similar contest for our next kid’s project, Walking with the Wise, …

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Who Should Win Our To Be Like Jesus Video Contest?

Two months ago I invited people to send in videos based on one of the songs from our most recent kids’ album, To Be Like Jesus (now available for $6 during our February sale). The best video would receive a $250 Amazon.com gift card. We narrowed it down to two finalists. The first, Gotta Wait, is from Jonathan Ruth. The second, To Be Like Jesus, is from the Cannon family. I need your help to pick the winner. To vote, watch both videos and leave a comment letting us know which one you like best (one vote per person). Feel free to elaborate on why you’re casting your vote. If you have kids, you may want to find out which video is their favorite. The …

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Kid’s Albums Aren’t Always Just for Kids

I often wonder how to define the age range for our kid’s albums. For “To Be Like Jesus,” our target age was 6-10 year olds. But on the CD we’ve described the age range as “6 and up.” I recently received an email from Abby, a mom I know, that reminded me why we shouldn’t put a cap on the upper age limit. “To Be Like Jesus” has been an amazing means of encouragement and enjoyment not just for Jack and Charli (6 & 4), but especially for me. Every song has brought tears to my eyes as I’ve been affected by the truths from scripture. The lyrics are extrememly practical and helpful for growing in and understanding the fruit of the Spirit …

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To Be Like Jesus Kid’s CD Now Available

I’m very happy to announce that our new album for kids, To Be Like Jesus, is now available at the Sovereign Grace online store. Why another kid’s CD? A few reasons. We think there’s a need for more children’s songs that aren’t simply adult songs with kid’s voices. We’d like to see more kid’s songs that proclaim truth rather than express love for God, which many children don’t have yet. We wanted kids to see that God wants us to be joyful, loving, faithful, gentle, etc., because that’s the way he is. We also wanted kids to see that it’s impossible to be joyful, loving, faithful, gentle, etc. apart from believing the gospel and being …

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Preview Songs from Our New Kid’s CD: To Be Like Jesus

You can now sample songs from our next children’s CD, To Be Like Jesus, at the Sovereign Grace Music website. The album is scheduled for release later this month. To Be Like Jesus contains 12 songs. Ten of them are based on the qualities listed as the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. I know only nine are listed there, but we included two on self-control because…well, any parent knows why we have two songs on self-control. The other two songs teach that God wants to make us like his Son, and when he does, we bear the fruit of the Spirit. We tried hard to avoid two extremes on this project. The first is assuming that every kid singing …

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Preparing the Next Generation of Musicians

Where do the next generation of musicians in the church come from? What can we can do to influence, inspire, and train the young people in our church to develop and use their gifts to serve the church for the glory of God? It doesn’t matter whether we’re in a church of 50, 500, or 5000, we can begin to think about how we can pass on what we’ve learned.

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Should My Kids Listen to Christian Rap?

Ken, a dad with three kids ages approaching their teen years, sent this question to me: [My kids] show some interest in hip-hop/rap music, so I have started to look into Christian versions of it.  I have listened to Curtis Allen (have to list him first, right?), Lacrae, and Eternal MOG (Man of God).  From what I have seen and read, the words seem to be gospel-centered, God exalting.  My hesitation is that the broader hip-hop culture is so foul and perverse that I am not sure I want to encourage my kids towards it. I was thinking that maybe I could cut them off at the pass with solid gospel-centered hip-hop music, but I am not sure if that …

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