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Martin Luther and Singing in Church

Martin Luther wrote many hymns. One of his most well-known hymns is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

The story below is from The Torchlighters Ultimate Activity Book, available at

Martin Luther believed that only God’s Word deserved more praise than beautiful music. “The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music,” Martin said.

As a boy, Martin loved music and learned to play the lute. When he was a teenager, he made money going from house to house and serenading people.

Before his time, there was no congregational singing in church. Martin changed that. He also encouraged the people to sing in their own language rather than in Latin, as was the custom. His changes were considered to be very bold actions.

What Do You Think?
What do you think? Do you like singing along with a group in church, or would you rather that a few people did all the singing?

Martin made big changes in the way music was used in church services. If you could change something about the music in your church services, what would it be?

Martin believed that music is a gift from God and a way to teach His truth. What are your three favorite Christian hymns or songs? What is at least one truth each song teaches?

What do you think is the purpose of songs that are not Christian songs? Do you think it’s beneficial for Christians to play, sing, or listen to songs that don’t teach Christian truths? Why or why not?

What Do You Know?

How much do you know about Martin Luther?

Find a Martin Luther quiz, coloring pages, and a puzzle here.


Martin Luther

By Elise Wixtrom, Kids of Courage Student Reviewer

Martin Luther was born in Germany on November 10, 1483. As an adult, Luther became a monk, a man dedicated to the service and study of God. He studied the Bible every day in Latin and subjected himself to punishments when he thought he wasn’t doing well enough. He believed that he could earn his way to heaven by doing good works and tearing himself down.

After many years of legalistic thinking, Luther finally began to understand that he had done it wrong. God wanted his heart, not just his words and actions. In a flash of realization, Luther decided that everyone in the church, not just those who could read the Bible, needed to hear the message of the true grace of God. As Martin Luther’s knowledge grew, he began to notice church practices that directly contradicted the teachings of the Bible. So he set out to fix the problems he saw.

The story is told that on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed a poster to the church door of Wittenberg that listed the 95 problems he had with church tradition. These problems included theological ones (like works above faith), as well as malpractice from clergymen (such as taking money from people, promising them that their gift assured that their loved ones would go to heaven). He knew these things were wrong and should be stopped, so he made a bold move and announced to everyone how destructive they really were.

As a consequence, the church kicked him out and would not let his books be published. They eventually brought him to stand trial for blasphemy at a city named Worms. He bravely said that he could only follow his conscience and God – and if the church came into conflict with the Bible, the church must be at fault. He eventually was freed, however, and he continued writing pamphlets, books, and sermons until the day he died.

We remember Martin Luther today because he, like William Tyndale and many others, was courageous enough to see that, no matter the consequences, he must be truthful and follow his conscience. Neither the church, nor any other establishment, could quiet his voice. He spoke up at his trial, because he knew what he was saying was true, and that the flame of truth, even if he went to prison, could not be extinguished.

Watch a trailer from the Torchlighters DVD, The Martin Luther Story,
Find instructions for making a Luther rose coaster here.

Hebrews 13:3 Around the World

(Image: Russian “Children of Courage” website)

Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand founded The Voice of the Martyrs in 1967 to help persecuted Christians. Other ministries around the world also started as a result of the Wurmbrand’s mission.

Click on the country names below to see websites of some of the ministries in other countries.

Czech Republic
The Netherlands
South Africa
South Korea
United Kingdom

You can find a children’s website from the ministry in the Netherlands here, and one for Russian-speaking children here.

When you help and pray for persecuted Christians, you are joining Christians all over the world who obey Hebrews 13:3: “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”

Iran: Pray for Lydia


Sam and Maryam love their daughter, Lydia, very much. (See their photo above.) Lydia has a heart defect and other health problems, but thankfully Maryam is a nurse and can take excellent care of her.

But officials in Iran, where the family lives, want to take Lydia away from her parents. They plan to return her to the orphanage where Maryam and Sam adopted her when she was 3 months old.

Sam and Maryam are Christians, and the government considers Lydia to be a Muslim. When Lydia was almost 2 years old, a court said she was not eligible to be adopted by Christians. The court also said, “there is zero possibility of giving her away to another family” because of Lydia’s health conditions. But they said she should be taken away anyway.

The parents appealed to another court, but the new court agreed with the earlier court’s decision. Now they are waiting to hear if the court will order them to return Lydia to the orphanage.

Please pray for Sam, Maryam, and Lydia.