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It’s the Big three, Armour, Fruit and Gifts!

One of the classic lessons Churches always love to teach to their kids! The Armour of God, The Fruits of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit.

And finally we took the plunge and devoted 9 weeks to these most important themes. They are just so visual for kids and make such a great practical lesson.

CHECK IT OUT NOW!

Hillsong Kids Big: Life with Jesus covers three of the most memorable spiritual lessons found in the Bible. The Armour of God, Fruit of the Spirit and Spiritual Gifts. These tangible teachings are perfectly presented so that every child will discover just what living a Life With Jesus is like.

Plus let’s drop a little bonus in here!

A big Word Memory verse song

The Armour of God Theme song with the band Dark Crush 🙂

CHECK IT OUT NOW!

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Hillsong Kids Live Masterclass

This video took off online just recently, even though it’s a long one. I was really happy to get this up online because if you are a kids pastor, or leader I think it will really help you.

It’s from a recent Hillsong conference where we gathered all the kidmin people and took them through just what a service looks like at Hillsong Church across our campuses, big and small.

Take the time to watch, it’s not perfect or polished but I think that you will at least glean something that you can take into your weekend!

Blessings!

P.S. Stick around long enough to see the fastest Funny Man Dan show in history 🙂

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Just Emailed These Thoughts

For months now I have been meaning to sit down and write down some thoughts for kids songwriting for our team at Hillsong Kids. Well yesterday I took a moment and furiously typed as fast as my 50 words a minute fingers could type. Here is the output without editing for your edification it’s for our team so somethings may not make much sense!

GET YOUR SONG HEARD!

Okay, this is a stream of consciousness thoughts on writing songs for kids.

  • Make sure you listen to the latest songs to catch the vibe of where we are at (planning centre).
  • Avoid cliches, phrases that are well worn in other songs, one or two in a song is okay, but 3-4-5 and the song becomes meaningless to the singer (eg. You took my shame–I praise your name; filled my soul–made me whole etc.)
  • You should be able to sum up your song in a sentence.
  • We are looking for a lyrical hook so find interesting ways of saying common truths for kids. eg. ‘At the start of this life I found You, you found me’, (not just I have known you my whole life) ‘I give you my Hallelujah’ (not just I give you my Praise).
  • Send through 3 songs minimum. It is far easier to evaluate 3 songs and find some gold than just look at one and not find anything. We want to encourage writers not demoralise them If you haven’t got three songs then keep going until you do, then put them all together
  • Include typed lyrics with the track. The Lord will turn his face from you if you submit a song without written lyrics.
  • Guitar and voice, or keys and voice are fine, do not spend too much time making a sweet demo track. The gold WILL shine through even the roughest of recordings.
  • No need to even create an arrangement of the track – as they say “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus”.

SONGWRITING THEMES:

  • Currently we are looking for songs about – Wisdom (Psalms, Proverbs, Parables)
  • Fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience
  • Songs about Praising God are ALWAYS accepted
  • Worship songs about trusting
  • Unusual Miracles
  • New Rivers, New Roads (Is 43)
  • The Holy Spirit

AVOID:

  • Talking about creation, we have enough songs about God created the earth and hung the stars. (eg. Superhero)
  • Silly songs (eg. I think I’m gonna throw up, I think I’m gonna throw up, I think I’m gonna throw up my hands and praise the Lord)
  • Introspection and Melancholy – These are not universal themes for children (save them for United).
  • Getting children to make promises or vows they cannot keep (eg. “I’ll go anywhere, I’ll do anything, at any cost for you my King.”)
  • Singing lyrics from God’s perspective can be tricky.
  • When you have finished a song, just check through for the words me and my. If they appear again and again look at the focus of the song. We love songs full of Him,
  • His, even Our rather than Mine is an improvement.

IMPORTANT:

I noticed recently with a bunch of new worship songs written for kids were focussing on the singers behaviour, their virtues or their actions. (eg. I’m gonna DO this or that FOR you God). It subtly tells our Children that the Christian life is about what we do for God. It tells them that the things that we could accomplish for him are the most important. When this is repeated over and over it can be exhausting for a kid, who in almost every area of their lives are ranked. We want Church to be an oasis in a life that is spent getting graded and lined up according to ability and worth.

We want Church to be a place of acceptance and rest, a place to be built up and encouraged.

P.S. Here is some more thoughts on Songwriting!

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Unlikely Heroes – Plus Two More!

Right, so we take a long time to release resources at Hillsong Kids… it usually takes almost a year to finish a 9 week curriculum project. So I am surprised as anyone to see us release THREE at the same time. It’s new release Wednesday!

It’s unheard of, and you should check them all out, especially if you speak Spanish or know someone who does! Because we made a Spanish version of our Crazy Noise Album… that’s right a Spanish album, our first ever!

HERE WE GO—

Let’s count this down, firstly a new BiG Curriculum UNLIKELY HEROES

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Then we have another Curriculum called Listen Up! (It’s a conference edition digital only product)

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And maybe most exciting, because it’s a first, Ruido Alegre!

Por primera vez, Hillsong Kids presenta un álbum en español especialmente para niños de edad preescolar y de edad escolar temprana. ¡Ruido Alegre! es un álbum lleno de canciones nuevas geniales para que los más pequeños puedan cantar y adorar a Dios.
El pastor de niños de la Iglesia Hillsong David Wakerley, dice: “Hace mucho tiempo hemos querido crear un álbum para niños de esta edad y estamos muy emocionados con esta producción. ¡Ruido Alegre! está lleno de canciones con las que los más pequeños disfrutarán cantando, bailando y alabando a Dios”.

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Much more to share, but wanted to announce before doing anything else!

Comment below, especially if you speak Spanish, would love to hear from you…

 

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Kidsong 2015 – The 3 T’s – YouTube

People of Earth! Just wanted you to know that the two men in this video are talking about things you have no idea about unless you were at Kidsong 2015! But let’s just say that if you would like to get a taste of the conference then check out the Three T’s.

You should also then check out the latest videos on the Hillsong Kids Channel at YouTube because there are some seriously great memory verse songs as well!

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Another reason to visit Worshiphousekids

I have been working behind the scenes for a while to partner with WorshipHouseKids and get some Hillsong Kids Content up there. Over the last couple of years this resource has become a real goto site to grab videos, songs, and inspiration from quickly. They really understand the digital realm and give you video files that just work!

Our first bundle has been uploaded and you may find it very helpful:

  • Birthday Song – It’s the Happy Happy Birthday song for preschoolers and toddlers. Birthdays are significant for your children. Celebrate with them by singing along with this video and making them feel special!
  • Countdown – A 3 minute high energy, dynamic countdown that will get your kids ready to start Church! Your kids will love learning the dance moves on screen.
  • Game Loop – The answer to creating atmosphere while your kids are playing games or having free time. At over 7 minutes it’s long enough to energise your latest and greatest new game.
  • Ministry Song – The answer to creating atmosphere in your service for praying and ministering to children. Run this beautiful guitar led worship song in the background while you pray or even sit quietly in response to our awesome God.
  • Tidy Up Song – Are you frustrated at having a messy room while you try to teach the kids at your Church about Jesus? Play this song when it’s time to transition your kids and see the difference music can make.

Check them out!

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Shameless they said!

Yeah, one of my hats as a kids pastor is overseeing the creative output of our Hillsong Kids.

The great thing about that is it helps our own ministry and Church campuses grow and lead kids. But also I get to release resources into the ‘wild’ as it were. We are in that season right now with a brand New Big Curriculum ready at the gate for its time in the spotlight. But it’s also hard to talk about without sounding like a shameless plug… but I can say what I like on my own blog right?

Here’s what we know so far –

  • It’s a 9 week curriculum
  • It includes elementary/primary and preschool/toddlers (first time)
  • It’s all about Faith, Hope and Love
  • It will be physical (DVD) and digital (download)
  • Large group/small group (same format as previous curric.)
  • Over 7 hours of media content! (this kinda blew my mind when we added it up!)
  • New website

Here’s what may be announced (wink, wink) –

  • Maybe there will be new worship music from Hillsong Kids?
  • Possible there will be a song to celebrate birthdays in your ministry?
  • I have heard that there may even be animated characters?

But seriously I am very happy with this new series and know that you will love it!

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1 Reason to make a video

As I have stated before on this blog, if I am light on posting it’s probably because of two things a project or a big season in Church life.

Well we have had both of them. Hillsong Conference  (hillsongconference.com), and a brand new resource Faith, Hope and Love. So posting has been very light, but I am feeling full of things that we have tried and would love to share. But here’s a quick recap on what’s been going on.

  • Kidsong conference was just spectacular you can see the first video up at our Hillsong Kids YouTube channel (also it’s this post below).
  • We had a baby! London Brave Jessica Wakerley. My first girl!

  • We are about to release our most ambitious curriculum project to date! It’s called Faith, Hope and Love and it’s coming in August!

Hillsong_Kids_BiG_FHL_DVD

  • So here is the reason to make a video for your ministry. Below you will see the latest video in an almost 10 year series of songs that we call the ‘Three T’s’. It has gone by different names like the Three P’s over the years but it is now an institution in the event known as Kidsong. Out kids watch this is every main session/rally and one of their missions is to memorise it over the conference and recite it back to myself or Funny Man Dan for big points! Anyway, if you have an event like this, a VBS or similar camp then do this! Your kids will love it!


 

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The worst word in kidmin

I present to you, fair reader, the worst word in kidmin:

…’Worksheet’

Doesn’t that just scream fun! Tell me more! I’m in! Yay!

It’s that thing that you hand out to the kids to reinforce the theme/topic you are discovering. It’s that thing the kids do during their small group time, it’s that thing that I just can’t stop calling a ‘worksheet’.

It causes me pain, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement.

What do you call them?

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Musical Mention: We Belong To Jesus – New Life Kids

*Musical Mention posts are more of a highlight feature rather than a source of no holds barred critical review. If you would like to suggest an album for a Music Moment feature then please comment below.

This time we have a look at ‘We Belong To Jesus (Featuring Jared Anderson and Friends)’. Jared is part of the worship team of New Life Church and I guess a primary contributor to the album.  The recording captures songs birthed out of the vibrant children’s ministry of New Life Church.  Featuring Jared Anderson, youth and adult worship leaders, and an energetic group of more than 135 kids led by choir director Amanda Ferrin, the CD has 11 high-energy praise songs of faith and worship for kids of all ages.  A companion We Belong To Jesus resource DVD contains lyrics videos with optional sing-along split and stereo tracks (background vocals and instrumental) for use with kids choirs in churches everywhere.

WE BELONG TO JESUS

NewLifeWorshipKids_We-Belong-To-JesusProduced by Michael Rossback (Gungor, Paul Baloche), We Belong To Jesus includes such worship favourites as “We Belong,” “Strong God,” “Counting On God,” “Light of Salvation,” and more, all led by the talented children’s ministry team from New Life Church.

Tracklisting

1) Counting On God
2) Impossible Possible
3) Dance Dance Shake It Up / It Was For Freedom
4) We Belong
5) According To His Word
6) Victorious God
7) Strong God
8) Light of Salvation
9) Never Be Shaken
10) Magnified
11) Just Give Me Jesus / ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus

THOUGHTS

I love seeing the worship pastor and leadership of the greater team get involved in this project. The fact that they wrote most of the songs for this album says a lot about the ministry happening at this church.

I really like the fact that you can buy three versions of the album on iTunes!

  1. Usual CD version
  2. Performance version with Video Lyric Videos
  3. Deluxe Performance Version with Split Tracks and Performance.

I really like this model and is great for Churches all over the place who would rather not wait for a DVD to arrive in the mail! Two thumbs up New Life!

Like the Planetshakers Kids album I recently wrote about, the team from New Life is partnering with Shout Praises Kids from Integrity to release their music potentially giving them a far greater reach!

Anderson, who wrote seven songs featured on We Belong to Jesus.

“My prayer is that our homes become houses of worship and that our families know how to lead one another by engaging in original, wholehearted awe of God. This project is a rehearsal tape for our heaven performance. I hope it serves well.”

New Life Church worship pastor Jon Egan (Desperation Band), who is known for such classic worship anthems as “I Am Free,” also penned four songs featured on We Belong to Jesus. Egan says,

“As a young father, there are moments that sneak up on me and take me to another place. One of those moments is when I randomly find my kids singing God songs. They could be building forts or eating breakfast, and I hear the sound of worship coming from their lips. It is in those times that I remember not only my highest calling, but of God’s greatness.”

REVIEW

Onto the music. Overall they have gone with ‘real/organic’ instruments, as in piano, guitar, drums mixed with some current synth/dance elements. It gives the whole album a atmosphere that fits in very well with their own adult worship albums. They are staying true to themselves and have produced something familiar to the ears of kids when it comes to Church worship music.

BTW the choir is awesome! I know only too well how hard it is to get a great choir without sounding like a Psalty record from the 80’s. They are very exposed in the split track versions (available in the deluxe set) but very few people will use those. Although great to listen to if you need to record a choir full of kids in the future.

It’s hard to get worship songs (slower tempo and vibe) that work really well, this album has a great mix of both! Well done.

Favourite Songs

Counting on God – There’s a reason it starts off the album, the best ‘congregational’ song on the album highly recommended for your kids this weekend.

Impossible Possible – Love the chorus chord changes! 

We Belong – Use this at your summer camp on the third night around a camp fire with that one guy who bought a guitar! Perfect 🙂

According To His Word – Scripture rich and classic mid tempo praise song

Magnified – Worship song of the album…

Thanks New Life Kids, there are songs here definitely coming to Hillsong Kids soon!