Words Matter!

May 28, 2013



Deep and wide

Deep and wide

There’s a fountain flowing

Deep and wide


I sang that song a lot when I was little. I had fun doing the actions and singing the words, but I had no idea what they meant!

Was I worshiping God when I sang that song? I don’t think so.

Worship God SignI love singing with children on Sunday morning! But we don’t just sing for the fun of it. When we sing together on Sunday it is part of our worship. Therefore the words to the songs we sing matter.

The words matter because we are singing to God.

There is something about putting words to music that helps us remember them. I remember Deep and Wide and I learned it when I was 3!

Since we remember the words we sing, we should sing songs that matter when we sing on Sunday morning.

We are singing as a form of worship and worship is about God. Worshiping God is focusing only on God.

So, what are we singing? It is truth? Is it focused on God?

Do the songs we sing help us to focus our attention on God? Do they encourage a worshipful response to God for His greatness and worth?

Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. Psalm 47:6

Because the words matter we should:

1. Look carefully at the words to the songs you are singing with kids.

When we choose songs to sing with children at church, we need to look carefully at the lyrics. Are the words full of truth? Do they help us express our worship? Does this song help us focus our attention on God? Read through all the lyrics of a song before you choose to sing it with kids.

2. Choose songs that encourage true worship. Sing songs that either express truth about God or are a worshipful response to God.

Some songs are silly or just for fun. There is nothing wrong with songs like that, however, when we sing together on Sunday, we are singing as a form of worship. So the songs need to have words that will help us to express our worship. That doesn’t mean that the songs won’t be fun to sing or that they have to be slow and pensive. Again, what matters is the words.

3. Teach that the words to the songs we sing matter.

We need to find a way to communicate what a song teaches. Take some time to talk about a new song when you introduce it. Tell the kids why you choose to teach them this song. When you are singing a familiar song, ask the kids to tell you what the song is about.

Do the kids understand what they are singing? Some songs have difficult concepts or words in them. Explain to the kids what those words or concepts mean. Understanding leads to meaningful worship.

With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. Psalm 109:30

My husband and I love to attend the opera. Before the event we will read up on the story of that opera. We will even listen to some of the pieces within that opera. Unlike a movie, the more information and understanding you have about an opera the better your enjoyment of it. The more I understand of the story, the more I can simply focus on the music and singing.

It’s similar to worship through singing. Worship is about focusing our attention on God and giving Him the glory He deserves. The more we understand the words we are singing, the better we can focus on God and worshiping Him.

So, don’t sing anything with kids until you have explained it.

At the beginning I talked about the song Deep and Wide. It might be fun, but it has little value for young children. Instead sing this song with them, because the words matter:

Praise, praise, praise the Lord

For He is our King.

We love Him so we give Him praise

For He is our King.

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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

View all posts by Janelle

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