Fun Ways to Use Music to Teach the Bible

Fun Ways to Use Music to Teach the Bible - Parenting Like Hannah
Go, Go Jonah! by Kathie Hill

School children automatically hate to memorize almost anything. Put it to music though, and it is amazing what they can recall. For years Bible class teachers have taught even the youngest of children the books of the New Testament by song. In fact you can still hear adults hum it as they look for a passage. It seems though that most of us stop there.

Did you know many of the songs we sing in church are actually scripture songs? Not only that, but Christian book stores carry cd’s with scripture songs. Many stores even have a way for you to listen to the music before buying to make sure it has tunes your children will enjoy.

This summer we wanted to focus on the story of Jonah and some of the principles behind the story. We found an old children’s musical, Go, Go Jonah and the children have been learning the songs all summer. The tunes are so catchy, I can imagine even many of the parents are singing the tunes (I know I am starting to dream to some of them!).

If you and your children have even the tiniest amount of creativity, you can really have some fun with music and the Bible. Find something you want your children to memorize. It may be scripture verses or lists of some things in the Bible or just some basic principles. Have your children pick one of their favorite tunes. (Often nursery rhyme songs are the easiest to remember and use.)

Here’s where it gets a little complex, but is doable.  Take the words in the original song and break them down by putting a dash between each syllable (this also gives children some extra English practice!).  Take the words you want to memorize and place them syllable for syllable under the original words. Your personal song should then flow well with the music.  If you are writing a list of Bible things or a Biblical principle song, you can also add your own lyrics – just make sure they are Biblical!

Use the natural love children have for music to help them learn important Biblical concepts and scriptures. Have fun with it and then see if you can get others to start singing your songs and have them catch on as the next new popular Bible class song. Your kids can even make up motions to go along with some of their songs.

I would love to see the results of your songwriting sessions! Feel free to share in a comment below – who knows you may be raising a future Christian song writer!

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Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking.

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