September 16, 2020

Give Kids Music that Makes Much of Jesus

At 20schemes Music, we’re always on the lookout for good and helpful resources to share, especially those that are applicable in our context. We asked Sarah Prime, the children’s worker at Gracemount Community Church, to review Shai Linne’s Jesus Kids album. We know she loves it and thought it would be good to share with you too.

Sarah, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m married to Andy, and we have a four-year-old son called Reuben. We live in Gracemount, and I work part time as a Youth and Children’s Worker for Gracemount Community Church. I love Jesus, Basketball, and Hip-Hop/Rap music. 

Why would you recommend Jesus Kids by Shai Linne?

As a teenager, I would spend hours listening to and memorising lyrics—most of which I can still recite! But most of the time the content of these albums were not good for my soul. So Hip-Hop and rap albums that deliver the gospel, while keeping the quality of music high, is always a hit for me.

I have loved listening to Shai Linne’s albums for a long time, so when I heard he had released a kids album, as a mum and children’s worker, I was excited to listen to and also use it. 

First off, kids love listening to this album. We often have it playing in the background at our kid’s groups at church (six month–10-year-olds). The youngest love dancing along to it, and as they get older, they very quickly pick up the lyrics and sing along. Adults will be left singing along too—with the tunes going round in your head for the rest of the day!

Can you give us a short description of the album?

‘Jesus Kids’ teaches biblical truths using catchy tunes to help lay a gospel foundation for kids of all ages. The album has 12 tracks—seven songs, three catechism interludes, and two instrumentals. The language used in the songs is very simple, making it easy for kids to understand, without taking away from the amazing truths being taught. 

Throughout the album, Shai takes stories and concepts from Scripture and applies them to children’s lives. I love the catechism interludes in between the songs, which are short and pitched at a great level for kids. I wish I had this album to listen to as a kid! Not only does it give you Christian music for kids (without a lot of the normal cheesiness), but it catechises them without the sometimes strenuous effort. 

Could you share with us a couple of the tracks you think stand out the most?

Let me give you two tracks that I think are particularly worth a listen.

‘Only Jesus’ is a great track where kids are taught the clarity of the gospel—that no-one is good enough apart from Jesus. This is done through showing them how the whole Bible is one big story, with the focus on Jesus, from start to finish. 

“But all the little stories tell one big story
About the God who made all things for His glory
So as we read the Bible it’s important that we see this
There’s only one hero and his name is Jesus”

The track then goes on to list characters we read about in the Bible, stating that none of them were good enough. All the characters from the Bible had flaws, just like we all do, which is why we need the cross. Only Jesus was perfect. 

The song ‘God Made Me and You’ teaches children important lessons about ethnicity—particularly needed in today’s world and our current climate—that no one is an accident, and that each person is different and unique but all equally loved by God, because we are all made in His image.

“Though we have a different story
God made me and you, God made me and you
For our joy and for His glory
God made me and you, God made me and you”

Shai describes the differences we see as we look around God’s creation, from the uniqueness of snowflakes, animals, and people. He underscores how all have been made by God to praise Him. He ends the song by reminding us that everyone is valued, but we are also all lost and in need of Jesus.

In conclusion, ‘Jesus Kids’ is a great album that faithfully teaches the gospel in every song. It’s a great choice for parents and children’s leaders who are looking for original music that clearly points kids to Jesus.