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Musical Mention: Light of the World – Johnny Burns

*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 week I highlight an Australian Artist Johnny Burns based right here in Sydney. He has released a bunch of music starting way back in 2000 for kids. Let Your Light Shine is his latest album.

Every song is based on one of my favourite Bible Verses. I guess you could call it “Pop Memory Verses”. The highlight for me in making this CD was doing some vocal collaborations with a range of really cool singers. I have chosen a range of Bible verse, from both the Old and New Testaments, which have really meant a lot to me during my Christian walk.

LIGHT OF THE WORLD

5 Johnny Burns Let Your Light Shine

Let Your Light Shine is Johnny’s 4th children’s album. Working with his long time friend and producer, Wayne D’Chong, the two have delivered an album full of catchy songs teaching the Word of God.

Special guest vocalists joining Johnny on the album include Colin Buchanan, Rob Smith, Alanna Rodgers (from GarageHymnal), Dave Hanbury (from Revive), and the beautiful harmonies of Jacqui, Katie & Christine Host.

Tracklisting

1. Let your light shine – Matt 5:16
2. Light of the World – John 8:12
3. If – 1 John 1:8-9
4. The Wisdom Song – Jam 1:5
5. May I never boast – Gal 6:14
6. Clap your hands – Psa 47:1-2
7. The Lord looks at the heart – 1 Sam 16:7
8. Love Love Love (One Another) – John 13:34-35
9. He is good – Psa 145:8-9
10. Ask, seek, knock – Matt 7:7-8
11. The plans I have for you – Jer 29:11
12. Your word is – Psa 119:105
13. Seventy times seven – Matt 18:21-22
14. Trust in the Lord – Prov 3:5-6
15. Holy holy holy – Rev 4:8

THOUGHTS

This album was released in July 2012 and like the rest of Johnny’s releases is a mix of live instruments and electronic instruments. The mixes are quality and the lead vocals are never lost and clear as a bell (important for kids). Having Colin Buchanan, the ultimate Aussie kids performer on the album brings the guitars out and they wield the country lick with class.

Now one of my big focuses as always is can you use this music for praise and worship with your kids and a really great way is to produce ‘lyrics videos’ to use on your weekends. It’s a bit of a necessity these days and I would love to see these produced, even sing-a-long versions like previous albums.

I seem to say this a lot, but they have nailed the kids choir recording, it’s tight and sits well in the mix.

To get a hold of this album check out emumusic.com or iTunes.

FAVOURITE SONGS

All these songs a based on scripture, but rather than a direct quote from scripture (very hard) he has built a song around the concept of each verse and that is a great way to write songs for kids.

The Plans I Have For You (Jeremiah 29) – The melody works really well on this track with lyrics that come pretty closely from the Bible.

Holy Holy Holy – This is a really nice worship song, and the lead vocals work really well

Ask Seek Knock – Rock ‘N Roll pure and simple, but it’s just really well performed and a great arrangement.

Here are some more thoughts on the album biblesociety.org.au/news/music-that-has-kids-jumping-to-gods-word

 

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Weekend Linkfest

The second list of the best links of the week about #kidmin or #otherstuff

Flipping Take-Home Papers On Their Head – Mind opening stuff here… it literally sparked off so many ideas in my brain area.

Top 100 #kidmin Tweeters – This is a few weeks old, but gives a great idea of the breadth of people in #kidmin

Make kids bath time more fun: Freeze the toys – Yes!

Ba Baby Bottle Holder – We have a baby due in May! Guess what they’re getting! 🙂

Baby Bottle Holder

A quote very relevant for everyone in Children’s Ministry!

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
— Robert Heinlein

 

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First ever post

In Nov 2004 this was the first post I wrote on this new blog.

It was short and not very deep but it’s still relevant!

 

WE HAVE THE ANSWER

We (the church) – have the answer, we may not be perfect or even close but we know someone who is perfect.

We have the answer!

I may feel inadequate when a child misbehaves or is going through a tough time.

I may feel like I have nothing to give – but we do – do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded (Heb 10:35)

We actually have the answer!

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Musical Mention: Look Up – Gateway NEXT

*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.

Gateway NEXT is the worship ministry that is changing and impacting thousands of young lives weekly during Gateway Church services in multiple locations throughout North Texas. This worship team is from Gateway’s Amazing Kids ministry. It aims to inspire more people, especially children through music.

Inspired by this goal, Gateway Next has come up with its first project, an album entitled Look Up. This project was created to minister to the next generation, to the things that are happening every day in the lives of our young children. Music is a very effective means of reaching them and touching their lives.

LOOK UP

Look Up by Gateway NEXT is an uninhibited, pure and sincere brand of worship songs, full of life, energetically responding to the call of our loving God. (1 Samuel 3:8).

Look Up is filled with songs and words of declaration inspiring young hearts to be bold in their response to the voice of God that speaks openly with them. This first album will capture the attention of the next generation that is already changing their present world with their boldness, while building up their faith to be the catalyst for change tomorrow.

These original songs have been written and recorded with the same heart that comes from the leadership of Gateway Worship, and their powerful expression of worship. Look Up serves as a glance into their journey of discovery and understanding of the power and presence of God in their daily lives.

Tracklisting

  1. We Are
  2. Look Up
  3. You
  4. How Great Your Love Is
  5. One Way (All the Way Out)
  6. Gonna Love You
  7. Living For You
  8. Secret Place
  9. My Heart
  10. Masterpiece

GATEWAY NEXT WORSHIP – LOOK UP CD PROMO from Gateway Worship on Vimeo.

“GatewayNEXT’s album “Look Up” has gone from Dove nominated to Dove winner! So grateful for the support of our Gateway Church family and proud of every single person who was involved.” – Gateway Church

THOUGHTS

This really is the Kids Worship album of 2013! It is from a local Church team working together to produce something that will reach the hearts and minds of kids. This is a Church that obviously has it’s eyes across the whole breadth of ages. There are resources oozing out on their store at gatewaycreate.com for all ages. It is just simply refreshing to see a Church who have brought out so much for adults and teens focus on kids, I love it!

Look Up contains 10 new worship songs written by the Gateway team of songwriters. Featuring Kari Jobe. These songs from gatewayNEXT hit the preteen age perfectly and there is a nice mix of live/rock tracks with pop/dance tracks.

Looking forward to much more of this in the future and I would love to to see a live recording, there are videos online of a performance from a Church service, but it would be great to see a full album!!

REVIEW

Some of these songs lean toward the ‘performance zone’ rather than a congregational vibe, which gives the album a high replay edge so after multiple listens in the car the repeat button stays on. The Gateway kids worship pastor Dana Johnson has not only written some great songs but also bought the best of Gateway Church Worship to create worship that kids all over the world can relate to!

More info at JesusFreakHideout

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Musical Moment: Kids Music – Go Fish

*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.

Go Fish are a group of guys that can really sing, I mean REALLY sing. I love the skills of acapella groups, like The Manhatten Transfer from back in the day and in Australia the Idea of North and in the Christian world The Katinas.  The roots of Go Fish are fully in acapella which makes them stand out big time in the genre of kids music.

Originally formed in 1993 by Jamie Statema and based in Minnesota. For 10 years their music was geared primarily to a teen and adult market, until 2003 when they released Splash!, an album aimed towards children.

 

Kids Music

The Go Fish guys have once again redefined what it means to make music for kids! Your children will be praising God with songs like My God, Glory, and Praise Your Name. The air guitars will be rockin’ with Fruit Of The Spirit and Kids Music! If you think you know what “kids music” sounds like…think again! Crank up the stereo in your minivan and let the fun begin!

We are continuing our mission of making great music for kids that won’t drive parents bonkers with our latest release KIDS MUSIC! So why the title Kids Music?  Simple.  We want kids ages 0-100 to know that this CD is specifically for them!  We also wanted to let the world know exactly what we do.  We make “kids music” and we make no apologies for it.  (The title track makes that quite clear!) My prayer is that your kids will love the new music and that this album will point kids to the only God who deserves our praise and glory! Thank you for allowing us to make music for your family.  It is an honor.

Tracklisting

1.My God
2. Glory
3. Fruit Of The Spirit
4. Praise Your Name
5. Walk With God
6. Jump (Featuring DJ Pray Z)
7. Gotta Move!
8. Fly Sally Fly
9. Shackles (Praise You)
10. Kids Music

THOUGHTS

This is an album whose parts fit together perfectly, the production of the music fits the singing style. Tight, clean and mixed expertly. I really appreciate music that has been through the professional wringer so to speak, taking the music to full potential.

Traditionally kids albums have a requisite variety of genres. You know, pop a reggae song in there, gotta have a hip-hop track, some kind of bluegrass for good measure. I like an album that has a cohesiveness to it, a variety that works together and Kids Music has exactly that. A nice mix of styles and even a fun songs (Fly Sally Fly) that are more about entertainment. That can be attributed to the production on the album I think, each track is balanced to work together.

And shackles is a classic that really works for the boys and their version is pretty sweet.

REVIEW

One of my strong focuses in this series is to highlight music that can be used with the kids at your Church. Now that’s not the main goal of every song, but I really like finding songs that will work .

I think that this is a great group of songs that work fantastic on at home, they are going in the kids playlist for sure. And you can see from the songs they include in their worship resource pack the ones they recommend for using at Church.

And that’s a nice way of making your songs available I think. Separate out the songs that will work in Church settings and make them available in a pack. A very good model for others to follow (including us!) 🙂

Check out this review for more thoughts.

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Musical Mention: Nothing is Impossible – Planetshakers Kids

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

For the longest time I have enjoyed Planetshakers music and we have used Planetshakers Curriculum at Hillsong Kids. They have a distinct style and vibe that is a little bit Rock ‘n Roll and little bit dance. So I am incredibly blessed to see that Planetshakers Kids has released an album! It’s about time and it is great!

After a transition recently, changing their name and rebranding the ministry slightly I am impressed by the pace in which they have released resources… may long it continue. Ministries across Australia continue to bring excellence to the table and I am very proud of this great Melbourne ministry.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE

Nothing Is ImpossibleFeaturing a collection of the favourite worship songs birthed out of Planetshakers City Church, for ages 5-12 this Album has 16 fun tracks that will encourage kids in their praise and worship and allow them to enjoy cool music that is relevant today

They have released a companion Nothing Is Impossible resource DVD, featuring lyrics videos with optional sing-along split and stereo tracks (background vocals and instrumental).

We feel it’s important to give kids music that they can be comfortable showing their unchurched friends, because the music is just as cool as what they might hear on any radio station, movie or TV show. Jesus spoke the language of the day, He was culturally relevant, whilst not watering down the message. We seek to do the same, and it’s our prayer that as your kids, grand-kids or friends listen, they are drawn closer to God and that the Biblical truths would be embedded deep within their life and serve them well into adulthood.

CD Track List:
01. Intro
02. Nothing is Impossible
03. Psalm 100:5 & Prayer
04. This Is The Day
05. You Are Good
06. Put Your Hands Up
07. Acts 2:24 & Prayer
08. The Anthem
09. Healer
10. Let Praise Awaken
11. Get Up
12. Limitless
13. I Call You Jesus
14. We Cry Out
15. Lamentations 3:22 & Prayer
16. Great Is Your Love

THOUGHTS

One of the great things about this album is that because of a distribution deal with integrity music  (I am assuming looking from the outside), they have partnered with Shout Praises Kids and are featured all over the place online. It’s a fantastic thing that will take the music further than it could by themselves! So in the USA etc. if you purchase this album it will be branded Shout Praises Kids Presents.

I love the mix of the kids singing on the tracks, it doesn’t have the ‘shrill‘ tone that kids choirs can get especially when using a group of kids that may not have any training. My favourite track is the title track Nothing is Impossible as a song that we have sung at events like Kidshaper over the years. The worship songs overall have an EXCELLENT mix with a group of kids singing that really know the material… not sure if they recorded any of the tracks live but it sure sounds like it at some points!

REVIEW

Fabulous. Simply fabulous, easily the best kids worship album I have heard this year, it has all the resources you need to get these songs started in your ministry and it’s an album mixed just right with a style that is spot on. The inclusion of the song Healer in the Integrity music version of the album is a nice one and it’s a song I always appreciate.

Of course I would like to see more songs written specifically for kids, but as I pointed out, the Planetshakers music style is already predisposed toward using a lot of their songs with kids.

NOTE: Planetshakers guys ( feel free to comment on any more details and I will edit the post! BTW, it’s really easy to write plantshakers as a typo! 🙂 Thank goodness for spellcheck.

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N&B – We Are Family

This is one in a series called Nuts and Bolts, single concise thoughts on some of the topics that make up life ministering to children in a local Church.

Nuts & Bolts – FAMILY MINISTRY

Ever had this thought? “If only the parents in your Church were as passionate about passing on their faith as you are!

I have.

When you think like that you place yourself in the position of authority, sometimes wrongly assuming you KNOW HOW to create a fully grown human person guaranteed to follow Jesus for the rest of their lives.

Salvation is as much as mystery today in your theologically well formed mind area as it was when the Church first formed in the book of Acts.

Sure we have some pretty good formulas about how to ‘get it done’, some nice acronyms about being saved and discipleship that might help. But take a moment and ask those around you why they serve God and you will hear at most a couple of significant moments from perhaps dozens of years when God became real.

That’s the goal here. As a minister of the Gospel of Jesus, you WANT to be in those moments. You want to be in those stories.

Amongst everything you do (and please do try some things), simply ask God for the privilege to be in some of those stories in the lives of your families and children.

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Blogging Matters

HT to TSK on this one.

Seth Godin & Tom Peters on blogging

I have tried to put into words the impact and point of blogging to many people over the years. These two influential business leaders put it brilliantly!

If you are leading anything like a ministry or team I want you to understand that you have a voice and a platform. You are called to steward that responsibility and privilege! If you don’t record and share what God is doing with and through you in this age of information I believe you are missing something quite profound.

Paul recorded his life and it turned into the New Testament.

That opportunity is not really open to us today, but who knows what could happen if you took steps to present your voice to the world? At least have enough respect for your calling to treat it as precious and important.

A book is simply a container for an idea (what makes a book a book?).

After you are gone, where will your ideas be contained? If you don’t do something about it… nowhere.

At the very least give your future generations the inspiration of discovering your story, your journey with God!

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L is for Longevity

I have given myself a challenge for the next 26 days – post the complete A-Z of Ministry to Children.

L… love, Lionel Richie, laughter, lost, lozenge…

L is for Longevity – After five years as a Children’s Pastor (in one Church), I started to feel like I was beginning to see some momentum building in the team. It wasn’t that amazing things weren’t happening and growth wasn’t going on, but I just hit that milestone and reflected on the things we were able to do that would have taken SO much longer in the past. I reflected on the fact that within the staff I had proven myself faithful and worked hard to build a trust. And the biggest secret to that? Just keep turning up.

My calling is NOT a career.

A common theme that appears throughout the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell is the “10,000-Hour Rule” (basically to be good at something you have to do it a lot). Gladwell claims that greatness requires enormous time, using the source of The Beatles’ musical talents and Gates’ computer savvy as examples.

Your Dad would have called it good old-fashioned hard work.

For a moment, think about the leaders and pastors you admire, you aspire to be like. There is a very good chance that like me, they have served in one place for a long time.

What do you think Dory?

“Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming”.