Welcome to Hell
It was brilliant. I learned then that the shortest distance between our heart and God's heart is a song. A song which the person understands and makes their own. Singing isn't the be all and end all of worship, but is it a surprise that in most Christian traditions, music plays a huge part in it... and in most traditions since the reformation, that has meant congregational singing? My Mum always knew when the man with the accordian had been out at Children's Church, because I always came home hoarse.
I loved it then, but mention an accordian to me now and I think of buskers with limited ability and gum-chewing girls in short polyester skirts in awful accordian bands on the Twelfth of July parades (and for those of you from outside Northern Ireland who have never had this experience, than God!). I also don't think that kids in Sunday School today would be overly enamoured with worship led by an accordian. Kid's are even more hi-tec than we are, and what all kinds of electronic wizardry to accompany their singing... Which no longer involves climbing up sunshine mountain, but a lot of "Whoopah! Wayhey!"-ing.
Things move on. In the wider world. In the world of children's worship. In worship tastes in general. It should also move on in our personal tastes, experience and approach to worship. It would be a sad state of affairs if my worship preferences were frozen in time around 1974 and involved songs like "The Happy day Express"... I no longer live in a fuzzy-felt world lived out to a sound-track played on the accordian. Yet I sometimes wonder if my worship preferences have got frozen at another timeframe in my Christian journey, so that the soundtrack is now slightly out of synch with the rest of my life and society in general.
However, whatever we may sing in worship may we recover some of that childhood exhuberance. Rarely do I come home hoarse from singing God's praise today... and that isn't because of better vocal control.