Top 10 Uncle Charlie Songs

It can be hard to find good music for kids – especially when you are looking for music to use on Sunday morning. A lot of songs are just silly or are too vague and symbolic for kids.

But there is good music out there – songs that kids can understand; songs that teach kids something about God; songs that lead kids to worship.

One of the places to find music for kids is www.unclecharlie.com. Uncle Charlie calls himself a music missionary to kids. He has many songs on his website available to purchase as CD’s, DVD’s, or downloads. I picked 10 songs that are great for Sunday morning. I will list the songs and why I picked them.

Here are my top 10 picks from Uncle Charlie:

 

1. Happy Day

This is a joyful, high energy song. Happy Day declares that Jesus is alive! It is a celebration of the fact that Jesus has saved us from our sins and we can be forever changed because of His death and resurrection. This song requires little explanation for kids. The second verse is about meeting Jesus face to face. It would be a good idea to talk briefly about it with the kids to make sure they understand it.

2. All the Earth

This song is a song of praise to Jesus for saving us from sin. It talks about His death and resurrection. It highlights the fact that He is the King; He can be trusted to do what He says He will do; and that one day He is coming back. One day, all the earth will sing His praises. This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

3. Love the Lord

This song is about loving, serving, and praising God.

Mark 12:30 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

I love that this song takes words straight from Scripture. It is both a song of praise and a commitment to love and serve God with everything we are. This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

4. God is Great
The title says it all! In this song, we praise God because He is great! A number of God’s attributes are mentioned in this song. It also acknowledges that fact that God’s name will be praised in the entire world. A couple phrases may need to be explained: in the first verse “worshipping in Spirit and in truth;” in the second verse, “Let Your fire burn in us, that all may hear and all may see…” This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

5. Lord, Reign in Me
When you sing this song with kids, it is important that you explain that this song is about how God is the King. God is the King of everything and He is our King. This song is about understanding that God is the King and asking Him to be our King – asking God to be in charge of our lives. That what it means when it says, “Lord, reign in me.” This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

6. Majestic

Psalm 8:1 says, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

This song of praise begins with those words. It talks about how creation shows the greatness of God and that we can join creation and give our praise to God. It is upbeat and joyful. This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

7. My Best Friend
This is a fun, upbeat song about hearing about and believing in Jesus. Choosing to follow Jesus means that Jesus is our Savior and our best friend. This song expresses what we believe about Jesus. This is a commitment song that tells of our desire to follow Jesus.

8. No One Like You
This is a fast-paced, high energy song. No One Like You is a song of praise to our God who is unlike anyone or anything. It describes our God as unique, beautiful, everywhere all the time, never changing, and good. God is worthy of our worship because there is no one else like Him!

9. You Are God Alone
This is a slower worship song. It describes God as being the only God who doesn’t need anything; who has always been God and will always be God.

“You are God and that’s just the way it is.” We can be confident in the fact that God is God alone and will never change. He is in charge and we can trust in His character and goodness. Acts 17:24-25 says, “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”

10. You Are Holy
This is an upbeat praise song. It can be sung as a repeat song or you can split your kids into 2 groups to sing. This song describes God’s character and talks about following and loving this holy, mighty God. In the chorus we sing many of the names of God – names that help us see what God is like and why He is worthy of our praise – Lord of lords, King of kings, Mighty God, Emmanuel, Savior, Messiah, Redeemer, Great I Am, Prince of Peace. A lot of good discussion can come out of this song – discussion that can lead to prayers of worship. This is a good transition song when moving from high energy songs to slower songs.

Good Friday – Jesus is our Mighty Savior!

On Friday, I am leading a preschool program for the Good Friday service. The program is for children ages 2-6. A number of churches get together to remember the death of Jesus and to celebrate the gift of salvation together.

I love serving with children’s ministry volunteers from other churches! I love getting to know the kids from other churches as well.

Our theme for the morning is “Jesus is our Mighty Savior!”

Through activities, games, crafts, songs, and Bible stories, we are helping the kids discover what it means that Jesus is our mighty Savior.

As they kids arrive, they will be encouraged to join an activity station. We planned activities that will get the kids thinking about our theme.

For example, one of the activities is called “Spicy Scents.” We will give each child a clump of play dough and put a few drops of lemon or peppermint extract on children’s dough, and let children knead it in. As children are working the extract into the dough, we will explain that in Bible times, people put fragrant spices on people’s bodies when they died. I love this activity because it is very hands-on and uses the sense of smell (one we don’t use very often.)

During story and singing time, we will tell the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, highlighting the theme that Jesus is our mighty Savior. Through the stories and the songs, we will explain what the word mighty means and what it means to be a Savior. One song we are singing is called, “Mighty, Mighty Savior!” It is a song of praise to Jesus our Savior and it does a good job of explaining what a Savior is and why we so desperately need one.

After storytime, we have planned a game and some crafts. Again, each was picked purposefully to continue highlighting our theme.

For a game, we are playing “hide the cross,” a simple hide and seek game. As the children play we will encourage them to remember that crosses help use to remember that Jesus is our mighty Savior.

When planning a special event, remember to use every opportunity to highlight the theme of the event. If you can’t explain how an activity highlights the chosen theme, then it probably should be used for this occasion.

I have mentioned before the importance of teaching 1 thing. This is true in Sunday School and in special events. Plan everything around your one theme and the children who attend your event will remember it!

Is Scripture Memory still important?

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

biblical literacyThis verse is true whether I read it in my hard copy Bible or my digital Bible. All Scripture is useful. We need to teach our kids this truth and pray that they come to love the Bible – because it is the Word of God to us.

We live in an age of unprecedented access to the Bible. I have at least 10 copies of the Bible in my house. The Bible is accessible on the internet, and on our phones. With the Bible being so easy to access, it is still important to memorize Scripture?

I believe there is huge value in memorizing Scripture and encouraging our kids to memorize Scripture. There are a number of reasons why Scripture memory is important, but I want to focus on one:

Scripture memory helps us to avoid sin; to resist temptation.

The Psalmist writes that he memorizes Scripture in order to avoid sin.

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11

Even Jesus, when being tempted in the wilderness, quoted Scripture.

Children will face temptation. Our job as children’s ministry volunteers (and as parents) is to teach our children the value of memorizing Scripture in order resist temptation.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Ephesians 6:13

One piece of the full armor of God that is used to help us stand our ground is the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God.

But do our kids need to memorize Scripture in order to use it to resist temptation? Maybe not, but in that moment when temptation comes, are they going to ask for a time out so that they can get out their phones and look up something that will help? Having the Bible so accessible is great, but it will not help in that situation if they don’t know what to look up.

However, if our children have memorized a verse that teaches them what to do when tempted, they will always have that knowledge.

“You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13),

In that moment when temptation comes, instead of asking for a time-out, our kids will remember that God has promised them a way out and ask Him to show it to them.

Scripture memory is a great tool we can give to our kids. We need to encourage them to memorize Scripture and then tell them why it is important. We need to show them the difference between having the Bible accessible and having it “hidden in our hearts.” Temptation will come – let’s give our kids the tools they need to stand their ground.

Book Review – Everyday Talk by John A. Younts

Words matter. The things we say in unguarded moments, the words we say in love, in frustration, at the breakfast table, and before bed reveal our attitudes, our worldview, our theology, our beliefs. This is everyday talk.

Everyday Talk is a parenting book about talking freely and naturally about God with your children. It was written to encourage parents to recognize the influence their everyday talk has on their children and to accept the responsibility they have to use that influence to tell their children about God and His ways.

“Along the path of everyday life, take the opportunity that God gives you to instruct your children.” (pg. 118)

The author uses Deuteronomy 6:4-7 as the key Scripture passage for his book.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The author states in the first chapter,

“The principle of Deuteronomy 6 is that your everyday comments are the ones that teach your children most profoundly about your view of God. Your interaction with God in everyday, ordinary, non-church life is the most powerful tool of influence that you have with your children. It communicates what you really believe.” (pgs 16-17)

This book is full of Biblical, practical advice for parents who want to talk to their kids about God. Each chapter has some questions at the end that encourage parents to think about the content of that chapter as it relates specifically to their kids, and practical ideas to implement the main idea of that chapter.

There are chapters on sharing the gospel with your kids; listening to your kids; giving directions; preparing your children to leave home; and talking with your children about the deceptiveness of the world, sex, and music.

An on-going issue for parents is discipline and obedience. In chapter 6, called “Big Sins, Little Sins” the author discusses the importance of consistent discipline. He talks about the tendency we have of categorizing sin. There are things we consider big sins and things we consider little sins. It is tempting to let little sins slide, but when we do, our children are being taught that obedience is not a requirement. Discipline for “big sin” and overlooking “little sins” teaches children to obey only when it seems necessary to them; it’s okay to disobey if they don’t get caught. (pg. 72)

The issue of obedience doesn’t end with parents. Ultimately we are to love and obey God.

“You cannot discipline properly until you see yourself as God’s agent to your kids…Your focus in discipline is to hold your children accountable to God.” (pg. 67)

“God wants to be loved & obeyed at all times, not just when the consequences seem great to us. You must discipline your children every time they are disobedient.” (pg. 69)

Consistent discipline is important because it gets to the heart of the issue. It helps our children understand they we obey because it is honoring to God, not simply to avoid the consequences of disobedience. Parents need to look at what is influencing their actions when they discipline and children need to look at what is influencing their actions when they choose to obey or disobey. It is the consequences or is it the best way to love God.

“Hold out for (your children) the goal of a heart that loves Christ more than the pleasures and good consequences of this life. Ask God to help your everyday talk to reflect love of God more than love of good consequences.” (pg. 77)

 

“The message of this book is that the most profound teaching your child receives is the everyday talk from your mouth.” (pg. 95) This book is an encouraging, practical, conversational appeal to parents.

“Parents, your children should hear God’s truth from your lips…They must hear God’s truth in your everyday talk. You must look out the window to your world and talk to your children about the truth of God in relation to what you see.” (pg. 120)

Children’s ministry volunteers: If parents in your ministry are looking for a practical book on Biblical parenting and talking naturally with their children about God, I recommend Everyday Talk.

Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of Playing – Sleeping Pirates

Games Your Kids Will Never Tire of PlayingI love this game! More importantly, kids love this game!

This is a great game to play after more active games or when you want to encourage the kids to start quieting down.

I call this game sleeping pirates, but it could be anything – hedgehogs, cowboys, astronauts, lions, whatever.

This game can be played inside or outside. It requires no equipment.

Here’s How to Play:

In this game, all of the children (except one or two captains) lie down on the floor in sleeping positions. Once they are settled, they are not allowed to move. The captains walk through the room and try to make the sleeping pirates move by making them laugh, telling them jokes, and so on. The captains are not allowed to touch the sleeping pirates. Once the pirates have moved, they get up and join the captains.

Reasons Why I Love this Game:

  1. All children play at the same time. No one is left out.
  2. It is easy to learn and simple to play.
  3. It is extremely versatile – it can be played almost anywhere, requires no equipment, and can be played with almost any number of children.
  4. It is a great way to transition from game time to other activities.
  5. I love the creative way kids will choose to “sleep” and the creative ways kids will choose to try make the other players move.
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