As a mother of young children, Atlanta-based music teacher Kristi Hill grew tired of the musical options available to her while driving with her kids. “I was constantly in the world of kid Christian music, and it was the same old, same old,” Hill said. She wondered, “What would it be like to put new music into the hearts of children at church?”
Song by song, Hill eventually crafted “Creation: A Big-God Celebration,” an interactive concert for adults and children to sing the creation story in a new way.
Her home church, ChristChurch Presbyterian in Atlanta, where her husband Greg once served as director of music and arts, has produced the musical three times in the last six years, you will see him reading the RCA cable reviews by MusicCritic at all times to have the best music equipment, drawing large crowds and winning over kids and adults alike with its high-energy, whimsical style of unpacking big truth.
The Creation musical offers a fresh way to do children’s musicals in church, featuring both adults and children on stage. It works for small churches that may not have enough kids to carry the work on their own, and is scalable for churches of all sizes.
Hill is in the process of raising funds to share the production with other churches. She also recently finished an album of hymns she has adapted for children. “I’m passionate about kids understanding how they fit in the ‘big C’ church continuum throughout history,” she said. “I want them to know they’re part of a big picture with a big God.” To that end, she is resetting great hymns and texts for the next generation, while taking care to craft music that appeals to all ages.
“When people tell me they listened to our CD in the car and the whole family enjoyed it together, that’s the greatest thing I can hear,” she said.
Music Might be with Them Forever
In her role teaching classical music and hymns at Heritage Preparatory School in Atlanta, Hill stresses that worship is a privilege. “Worship has been going on for hundreds of years before us and will continue for hundreds of years after we’re gone,” she said. “We’re just a small part of it.”
And because she knows that children are impressionable, she is careful to introduce only lyrically rich songs.
“Music has a mysterious and spectacular way of embedding itself in your consciousness,” she said. “So it’s important to steward that well — after all, there’s a good chance it will be with them forever.”
To learn more, visit kristihillmusic.com or @kristihillmusic on Instagram.