As a parent, if there’s one thing I want my kids to know, it’s God’s Word. Who does God say they are? What are His promises that they can lean on, as they face the obstacles I know this life will bring? Every night at bedtime, for the last three years, I get those final moments in the day to tuck in my little girl Norah, say prayers, and turn on music. She usually convinces me to scratch her back, and as I do, I always tell her this simple phrase – “Daddy loves you, and Jesus loves you.” It’s simple, but as my preacher dad taught me in one of his many sermons, repetition is the key to learning. I know that if I can instill that simple truth in Norah's heart about God's love, she’ll be able to draw on it when she needs it most. I’ve been a worship leader for nearly 20 years, and I’ve never forgotten that phrase about learning.
As a songwriter, I believe that music is one of the best tools to teach the word of God. There’s just something that clicks between our hearts and our mouths when we sing. And a catchy melody never hurt anyone (unless we’re talking about Achy Brakey Heart). It’s amazing how much children can pick up, just by hearing a song. All you need to do is search YouTube, and you’ll see kids singing complete renditions of Beyonce songs, the National Anthem, and even songs where kids memorized all 44 US presidents!
When we had our son Moses, I had the desire planted in my heart to do a kids album. I wanted to write songs that matched epic Bible stories with classic memory verses. Stories that I can remember being read to me when I was a little kid – Noah’s Ark, Jonah and the whale, the Christmas story. Verses that have shaped my walk with God – John 3:16, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Jeremiah 29:11.
The album is called “Story Songs from Scripture” and it has nine songs that I believe will not only impact your kids today, but will root the Lord’s promises deep in their hearts, to remember for all their lives. There will also beanimated 2D videos, created by Nashville artist Benjamin Prosser that will help tie in the stories visually for kids.
My kids have gotten the sneak peak of the album, and already have nearly every song memorized. I had to choke back tears the other day when I was reading a story to Norah and Moses, and there was a rainbow at the end of the book. I asked Norah, “What does a rainbow mean?” And she answered me with one of the lines from my “Noah’s Ark” song. She said, “a rainbow shows God’s love for us.”
It’s so exciting to see this dream become a reality. It all goes back to a moment with God, where I felt like He was telling me to use what I love and what I’m gifted at, to teach my kids His word. And that is the advice I would give to any parent who hopes to raise godly children. Teach through your passion.If you love the outdoors, take your kids on a hiking trip, teaching them about creation! If you love baking, teach through the ingredients you use, and how God is our good provider. You are your children’s biggest hero, so when you point them to Jesus, there’s a good chance they will open their hearts to who He is!
I pray that “Story Songs from Scripture” will be a blessing to everyone who wants to teach their kids the Bible, through incredible stories of God’s faithfulness!
Special Note: The "Story Songs from Scripture" album will release on iTunes at the end of this month. Bring the whole family to the album release concert on Saturday, February 27th at 11am at theMiracle Theatre in Washington DC.
Kurtis Parks is the worship director atNational Community Church. He is most passionate about reaching this generation with a message of hope, through songs that point to Jesus. His motto is "love God, love people, and write songs that show it!"