It’s such an encouragement to see more and more children’s resources coming out that are packed with biblical truth. That’s a good description of the new children’s album put out by Brook Hills Music titled “The Great God and His Big Story.” As you might guess from the title, the songs take children (and adults) through redemptive history to see the beauty of God’s plan of salvation. You can get the EP here.
1. Can you give us an idea of what to expect in this new children’s album?
Matt: We wanted to write songs that would help our kids grasp the big story of the Bible. The songs move through redemptive history, telling stories and reflecting on truths about Creation, the Fall, The Ten Commandments, Psalm-inspired reflections on the value of God’s Word, Christ coming as Light into darkness, the Beatitudes, Christ as Redeemer, and the joy of participating in the Great Commission. Stylistically, we knew we wanted to steer clear of the extremes of the techno-rave-for-kids, drum-loops-into-forever, drive-parents-crazy approach on the one hand, and the kazoos and slide trombones, everybody-just-make-funny-faces approach on the other. We ended up with a fun and energetic and yet, I believe, musically substantive project.
2. Who did you have in mind in putting this project together?
Matt: Parents of young children are the primary target. That’s not to say older kids won’t like the songs. My kids are 15, 12, and 9 and there’s something on this project for each of them. Having said that, we wanted the songs to be welcomed by younger families because it’s never too early to start telling, singing, rehearsing, and (Lord willing) internalizing biblical truth.
3. You’ve thought a lot about family worship and taught on the subject of shepherding our children. What role do you see music playing as we seek to teach our kids the gospel and what it means to follow Christ?
Matt: I’m convinced that music is vastly under-utilized for discipleship in Christian homes. When our oldest was about 2 yrs old I started writing songs to help us memorize portions of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. They weren’t for public consumption (read: incredibly cheesy). But they were simple, singable songs packed with time-tested biblical truth, aged in the cellar of church history for about 350 years. He learned those songs. It wasn’t a drill or a chore. It was a joy to sing them together. If you ask him now, 13 years later, “What is justification?” he thinks of the words he started singing when he was a toddler. Given how many times we’ve sung them, he’ll remember that song when he’s 60. More importantly, he and his siblings have a big, sharp sword to contend against legalism, fear, and struggles for assurance. Catechisms aren’t for everyone. The point is that music can be an excellent delivery system for memorizing Scripture and transferring/retaining biblical truth. Then there’s the devotional aspect as well. Singing our faith is not a redundant Christian activity, an add-on for artsy types. It is commanded over 50 times in Scripture. It will be a part of the liturgy of the eschaton. The Psalter, that big giant hymnal in the middle of the Bible, makes a case for the essential place of singing ourselves deeper into joy and trust in God, deeper into fellowship, deeper into the gospel (see also Col 3:16). Our God is a singing God (Zeph 3:17), so it’s part of the imago Dei. There is much more to say here, but we pray that Brook Hills’ families will increasingly sing substantive, biblical, gospel-charged songs and will teach them to their children. Reading, praying, singing as a family – these don’t guarantee spiritual fruitfulness in the home. But as we sing truth to and with our kids, we give the Holy Spirit, if you will, his favorite materials for the constructing of a Christian home and the establishment of missionary outposts for Kingdom service.
— Thanks, Matt, and thanks to Brook Hills Music for what looks to be a great resource for kids and families. Don’t forget to check out the EP here on iTunes.