Disclaimer: This is my first review of anything on this site, so watch out for inexperience. Also, I was given a free copy of the CD I’m reviewing. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the CD. You won’t find much criticism here at all.
When I first heard about this CD put out by Sovereign Grace Ministries, I have to admit that I was skeptical. Honestly, it sounded to me like the songwriters had a chip on their shoulders regarding the music that was out there for kids, and I have been around long enough to know that when people do things because of a negative agenda, there are often some corners cut and quality tends to drop.
That’s not the case with this CD. I have to admit that I enjoy this CD far more than my children do!
Awesome God is Sovereign Grace Music’s first CD for kids. According to the website:
How do kids learn about God’s greatness? One excellent way is to sing songs that express God’s character and nature in words that kids understand.
That’s the premise of the first Sovereign Grace Kids CD, Awesome God. The 12 songs on this CD have been selected and arranged to help kids better comprehend and worship God for who He is. It’s a great tool for parents and even children’s ministry workers to use in explaining some of the attributes of our great God.
They say that the CD is designed for kids 7 and up. My kids are 6 and 3, but they just went through their first ever VBS program this past summer, so they are now familiar with praise songs designed for them. My wife and I are often irritated with music designed for children, so we simply haven’t bought much children’s praise music.
I was impressed with the packaging of the CD for one reason. The CD comes with FOUR interchangeable front covers. That’s a cool idea for a kids CD.
Additionally, I was pleasantly impressed with the production quality of the CD and the instrumentation of the music. Honestly, before the children’s voices came in, I didn’t think it was a children’s CD at all.
The first song begins with a strong rock beat that sets the tone for the CD as one of innocence without condescension. That’s an important point because the aim of the CD is to teach real theological concepts in a way that kids can understand. The music itself communicates that these songs haven’t been “dumbed down” for children.
And You’ve created me to worship You
And You’ve created me to love You
And You have made me to delight in You
All glory to Your name!
This song introduces a new lead vocalist which is another plus for this CD. There are many different vocalists on the CD and that helps to add variety particularly because sometimes there are children’s voices and sometimes there are adult voices. That variety communicates to children that adults care about this stuff too. I like that.
With that said, I have to say that this is song falls into the more traditional “kids music” genre simply because it has that annoyingly catchy quality of getting stuck in your head for days at a time.
Teaching that God is eternal, the chorus says:
You go on and on and on and on and
On and on and on and on
On and on and on and on
Forever You are God
My wife doesn’t like that song, but I have to admit that it does an excellent job of communicating the core truth of God’s eternal nature. It can’t be any simpler nor can it be any more true. The verses are even better.
You Are Always with Me
This is my favorite song on the CD without question, and I’m thinking I want to use it in my own congregation as an adult worsthip song. You have to listen to it. Click here to visit the site and download a sample of it for yourself. Direct link.
You are always with me, Jesus
Where could I go, where could I hide?
You are always with me, Jesus
Where could I go? You never leave my side.
The song is clearly reminiscent of Psalm 139:
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast….
Who Is Like You?
I’m sure I’ve heard this song before somewhere. It’s actually been around since 1990, but is still a good simple slow prayer reminiscent of Psalm 8.
…When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?…
Not only does the song ask “Who is like You?” but it also asks “Who am I?” a profound combination of thoughts that is likely to be over the heads of many children at first but will be a great teaching tool.
Halfway through the CD, you find this song that is a real gem. It’s another song that is so good I know some adults who should learn it.
Here’s just the first verse:
When I’m all alone and afraid
I will trust in You
For You watch over my ways
When things in my life don’t make sense
I will trust in You
For You are good, You are good.
Whenever the chorus starts playing, I often find myself instinctively closing my eyes and spending a few moments thinking about the amazing truth of a God who controls the universe and is good to me.
Mighty Mighty Savior
This is NOT the worship song I knew a few years ago by the same name. I think it was Integrity’s Hosanna! Music or perhaps the Vineyard Music Group that put out a song by this same name and it was a repetitive chant-like song.
This one is completely different. It is another example of a song in the “kids praise” genre just because of the bouncy rhythm and the general happy feeling you get when hearing or singing it.
Nevertheless, there is deep theology here as well. The first line of the first verse says, “No one is good.” The first line of the second verse says, “Sin is too strong.” It’s because of those two truths that we need a mighty Savior.
When was the last time you heard a child praise God for saving “helpless sinners like me”? Teaching total depravity to little children? That’s something I don’t think I would have tackled, but after hearing this song, I’m thinking, “Well, why not?”
Jesus Came to Earth
This song is Philippians 2:5-11 put to music. It’s more overtly didactic than Lord, I Lift Your Name On High but I think it would be just as fun.
There isn’t a lot of rhyming here though, and a kid will need to work to learn the words simply because there isn’t much repetition; however, the verse lends itself to a call-and-response kind of singing as the recording demonstrates.
This is another bouncy, catchy song that can get stuck in your head for hours. It’s fast paced and is sure to get the wiggles out of any kid that is able to stand up on two feet. I have to admit that I want to get up and dance every time I hear this song. And I was raised Baptist!
(This song just started playing right now, and I heard my wife behind me snapping her fingers to the beat.)
Click here and download the sample of this song to see what I mean.
Three in One
It teaches the Trinity by taking one verse for each of the three persons of the Godhead and then having a chorus that unites the three. The downside of this is that the song has a lot of words to remember. But then again, that’s the point. If the kids can remember all the words to the song they will have learned a lot about God.
However, even though the lyrics presuppose a child who can read and remember quite a bit, the music for this song seems like it would appeal mostly to younger children. I have to suspend my judgment on this song until my kids get a little older.
For You Are Holy
This is another favorite song of mine. Beautiful melody, sensitive vocals, and amazing truth. I LOVE this song. It’s another song I would gladly do in a worship service of any setting.
From the first verse:
Only You have no beginning
Only You could make the skies
Only You are truth unending
Only You are always wise
Lord, there is none like You
Put this song on, close your eyes and raise your hands. You’ll see what I mean.
The Gospel Song
The whole song is simply this:
Holy God, in love, became
Perfect Man to bear my blame
On the cross He took my sin
By His death I live again
The melody reminds me of the classic version of The Lord’s Prayer and its simplicity does justice to the simple truth of the simple gospel. Whether you enjoy the song or not, you should fall in love with the words.
Have You Heard?
I really think this is a great ending to the CD. It isn’t the most catchy song. It isn’t the most beautiful song. It isn’t the most fun song, but it just perfectly sums up everything else.
It starts with the questions, “Have you heard about Jesus? Do you know who He is?” and then answers them. Both verses follow this pattern of asking a question and giving an answer. It’s like a catechism that you won’t hate!
But when you get to the chorus, all questions are done…
This is the best news that we could ever hear
More than amazing, it drives out every fear
By trusting in Jesus Christ in his saving sacrifice
We can be made new, we can be made new
On top of it all, there is something about this song—and I can’t put my finger on it—that actually makes me feel more motivated to share my faith with others. Maybe it’s that question, “Have you heard?” that reminds me some haven’t heard. The fact that I can say “Yes” to that question immediately implies that I need to ask someone else that question.
It has been a LONG time, since I have heard a song that really motivated me to share my faith—and I’m an evangelistically-minded church-planting pastor!
I’ll admit it. I really liked this CD. I am really glad that I volunteered to do this review because they gave me a free copy in the process. I never would have purchased it on my own, but I’m am really glad I have it.
I’ve had the CD for about a month now, and my kids still don’t ever acknowledge it when I play it (I purposely don’t draw attention to it because I want to see their reaction to the music). For songs geared toward children, I see that as a criticism, but then again, my kids are younger than the recommended age.
However, I listen to it a lot. Sometimes I get embarrassed because of the children’s voices on many of the songs, but I listen anyway. It’s really that good.
If you are looking for some great worship music for kids who can read and who have already been through the VBS / camp style of Christian music, you really should pick this up. Sovereign Grace Music has done an excellent job of putting theology to music in an attractive way. And who knows, you might like it more than your kids do!