Our Growing in Grace Children’s Music Curriculum Creative Team was blessed recently by an invitation to teach at LifeWay’s Worship Week 2015 at Ridgecrest. We were thrilled by the offer! We delighted in the refreshment and encouragement that comes from getting away and spending time with other worship leaders. We also appreciated the opportunity to tell our Growing in Grace story.
This faith-based children’s music curriculum traces its roots to several God-directed dreams. One dream developed when, as a minister of music in Alabama, I helped with a program called Encore that brought music education back to the public elementary schools of our city.* Encouraged by that music-outreach miracle, I partnered with Dora Ann Purdy, and we established a small children’s music company called Dot Music Resources that provided supplemental materials for children’s music ministries. Then, Tom McAfee, a successful businessman with a big ministry vision purchased our venture, and Growing in Grace was born.
We began producing a faith-based, age-appropriate curriculum for preschool, younger, and older children built on spiritual and musical foundations that engage and nurture children while they sing, move, and play. Over the past four years, our creative team has grown, and Growing in Grace is now used by over 1000 churches in 40 states.
While we are pleased with our growth so far, our greatest joy comes from the relationships we enjoy with children’s music leaders around the country. They inspire us with their ideas and experiences. We cry and laugh together as they relate stories about the children in their choirs. Our users help us develop themes and give feedback to improve our curriculum. We have a sharing, interactive community on Facebook.** Growing in Grace has become a big ministry family who serves, encourages, and equips one another as we use music to nurture children toward Christlikeness.
The previous sentence sums up the “who, what, how, and why” of Growing in Grace. Who are we? A ministry family. What do we do? We serve, encourage, and equip. How do we do it? Through music. Why? To nurture children toward Christlikeness.
As Growing in Grace, LifeWay Worship and other ministries express God’s call to and through children’s music ministry, our respective strategies regarding “who, what, and how,” may sometimes vary, but we are always unified in our “why.” Growing in Grace is honored and humbled to be in fellowship with others, and to be a part the big picture of what God is doing to shape the Christ-followers and worshippers of today and tomorrow.
*Click on this link to read about the Encore program in an article from the American Choral Directors Association Choral Journal
** Visit our Facebook Page at Growing in Grace.
Terry Taylor is the Managing Editor of Growing in Grace Children’s Music Curriculum, and the bi-vocational Minister of Music at Tusculum Hills Baptist Church in Nashville. Terry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.