Let the Anxious Children Sing to Me

New worship music offers today’s young believers a wider range of emotions and greater spiritual depth.

Kids need more from worship music than dance motions, silly lyrics, and singsong melodies. Musicians like Keith and Kristyn Getty and Shane & Shane are building a body of songs with theological depth and musical simplicity to help disciple young believers.

“Jesus Calms the Storm (Hymn for Anxious Little Hearts),” a recent single released by the Gettys in collaboration with Sandra McCracken and Joni Eareckson Tada, sets clear, profound words for moments of worry or uncertainty:

When my heart is filled with fear
Like a stormy sky
Jesus says, “Be not afraid”
He is at my side

There’s a rock where I can go
Keeps me safe and this I know
Deep within my troubled soul
Jesus calms the storm

For Keith Getty, who produced the single, the psalms offer children something that nothing else can: both the affirmation they long for and hope for what lies beyond the present.

“We can say what we feel, what we know about God, and move through to where we can look beyond our circumstances,” Getty told CT. “Not to resolve it like a Disney happy ending or a bumper sticker slogan but toward something hopeful.”

Kids’ mental health is front and center these days, with best-selling books by Jonathan Haidt and Abigail Shrier exploring contributing factors to childhood anxiety and emotional struggles on the rise among young people. Concerning trends like increased suicides and high rates of loneliness have many researchers scrambling to gather data about what might be contributing to this intensifying public mental health crisis.

Christian counselor and author Sissy Goff has written several books on the subject; her most recent, The Worry-Free Parent, confronts parental anxiety and …

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