LINGAYEN, June 1, 2013 – The Gospel cannot be limited by age nor understanding, which is probably why kids can get to learn and love Jesus through simple songs and dances, according to missionaries serving in a kids’ ministry.
“Why do we need to teach them how to sing? Because singing is twice praying,” said CFC – Kids for Christ (CFC – KFC) international coordinator Nic Escalona, quoting St. Augustine.
Short, repetitive, simple songs
This highly common evangelistic tactic—that is employed by possibly every single kids’ and youth ministry in the country – seems to be broken down into a science by CFC- KFC, which has been doing children’s formation for the past 16 years.
“Gumagamit tayo ng song and dance with [the] right timing and lyrics kasi in a simple way, doon nila ma-eexpress ‘yung love nila sa Panginoon (We use song and dance…because in a simple way, that is how they express their love for the Lord),” said Blair Jereza, who served as pastoral worker for KFC for three years.
Jereza explained that KFC songs are intentionally short, easy to learn and repetitive – a mix of music and dance.
This is done to adjust to their shorter attention spans and a still developing grasp of more complex concepts and words.
According to KFC ate (big sister) Sarah Felix, 17, however, teaching young ones how to praise God through songs encourages a more mature view and way of relating to God.
“Since they are kids, what they mostly do is ask for something. They don’t say thank you. When they are taught how to worship, that’s our way of telling them that we should also thank God and follow His ways,” Felix, who joined KFC for as long as she can remember, explained further.
Just like the parents
Kids are gradually taught through monthly meetings a charismatic form of prayer where they are encouraged to close their eyes, raise their hands and imagine being with Jesus.
This form of prayer is largely patterned after KFC’s mother organization, Couples for Christ’s (CFC) way of worship.
The shared charism of CFC and its family ministries reflects one of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines’s pastoral priorities, that of making the family “the focal point of evangelization.”
In the message of the National Pastoral Consultation On Church Renewal, the Philippine Church affirms that “family integral faith formation of children, youth and parents must take place.”
Other family ministries of CFC include Youth for Christ, for young people 13 to 21 years; Singles for Christ for those 21 to 40 years old; Handmaids of the Lord for widows or wives whose husbands work abroad; Servants of the Lord for widowers or husbands whose wives live apart from them because of work or other circumstances. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]