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How music can help you raise disciples of Jesus image

How music can help you raise disciples of Jesus

A simple way to bring faith into our everyday life.

Music makes us move. It lifts our moods. It brings back key memories. Music gives words to our feelings and convictions, even directs our feelings and convictions at times. 

I believe music is one of the greatest untapped discipleship resources for parents. Let me convince you. 

Music can help us start conversations

Sometimes, sitting down around the family dinner table and opening the Bible together for some healthy discussion and prayer just seems like an unattainable ideal. It is worth aiming for, but sometimes we can only take baby steps as we head in that direction. Playing Christian music at home and in the car is one of those steps. Songs that put biblical truths to a simple melody and get stuck in our heads are a great prompt to start conversations about faith. It can start as easily as, ‘Oooh, I like that song. What do you think?’ or ‘That song about how good God is really cheers me up!’. Sometimes our conversations will be short and sometimes longer, but it’s always a win to bring faith into our everyday chatter. 

Music can help us memorise biblical truths

There really is nothing like a catchy tune to get some lyrics stuck in your head. What better words to have on repeat than a wonderful truth about God’s love and grace or his faithfulness to his promises? It might feel like our children aren’t listening. There might be songs or albums they don’t like. But keep turning on music and finding new albums to listen to. It is worth it. 

Listening to music can support children’s ministry

Do your children sing songs at Kids’ Church or Kids’ Club? Find out what they are and play those ones. Your children’s ministry leaders will thank you for making it just that bit easier to help the kids learn the songs. It may even prompt spontaneous sharing of what happens at Kids’ Church because you’re bringing that music from one context into another and music triggers memories. 

Tips to get you started

Our smartphones make it easy to access a wide variety of music. Bluetooth speakers come in a range of sizes and prices. There really is little to prevent us using music as another resource in discipling our children. There will certainly be music in the lives of our children, especially as they become teens and make their own choices about what they listen to. Music will be having an influence. So, for as long as possible, let’s try to keep playing music in our homes and cars that points them to Jesus. 

Here are a few further tips: 
-    Ask for recommendations from other parents. Yes, Colin is excellent, but there are lots of other styles of quality Christian music to explore. Find out what others are listening to and try it. 
-    Ask the musicians at church what they listen to. It doesn’t all need to be music for kids. It will also encourage you to have more biblical truth swirling round in your head alongside making plans for dinner and remembering to bring in the washing. Remember, your faith as a parent is an enduringly powerful influence on the faith of your kids. 
-    Ask leaders at camps and conferences about good music options. This will give you the opportunity to hear from others beyond your usual social circles. 
-    Have a look at some of the music for yourself via the music apps and YouTube. 
-    Remember that it can take time to enjoy a whole album. To start with, there might only be one or two songs that capture your attention. But it’s only when songs become familiar that we really enjoy them. Give it a good go before moving on to something else. 
-    A few musicians to check out: Josh Goscombe, City Alight, Emu Music, Sovereign Grace Kids, Ben Pakula, and of course, Colin Buchanan (try the early albums too). 

In his letter to the Colossian church, the Apostle Paul urges the believers:

‘Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts’ (Colossians 3:16). 

As parents, we don’t always feel very well equipped to be teaching or admonishing our children on key biblical truths (though I encourage you to keep at it anyway). But we can be singing together. Good Christian music can give us true and encouraging words to say to our children. And it can help the whole family to grow in the knowledge and love of God.
Annemarie Rivers has three children and has served in children’s ministry in a variety of roles for many years. She now works with the Youthworks Ministry Support Team, training and supporting children’s ministry leaders across Western Sydney.


We will follow him

A diverse collection of easy-to-learn kids songs. Great for Sunday schools, scripture classes or for singing along in the car. We Will Follow Him also contains three instrumental tracks without lyrics as an extra resource. Ben’s style is similar to that of Colin Buchanan and Emu Kids Music.

Buy it from Youthworks Media

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