Developing the Next Generation

As leaders, we are responsible for the ministry of today.  We are also called to begin developing the skills of those who will come behind us, the children and teens who are displaying interest and skill in worship ministry.  If we are not comfortable working with these students, this can be a daunting task.  Here are a few ideas of how you can provide valuable experience and training to these developing worshipers while allowing them to be an asset to your current ministry.

Add them to your praise team! We have used children and teens in our praise teams during services with a youth emphasis for many years.  Why not include them the remainder of the year?  The purity of their sound can provide a nice contrast to the adults they are paired with.  More importantly, the best way that we can develop worshippers is by putting them in worship opportunities on a regular basis.  Allow them to become comfortable from an early age with expressing their worship in front of a congregation; it will be an aid to them as they grow and it will speak volumes to the members of your congregation.

Provide them training! Knowledge is power!  Training can take place in several ways.  These students may enroll in organized lessons; introductory classes in music reading and sight singing can be a fun way to make them a part of the ministry.  It can be very simple, too.  Take a few minutes from your weekly rehearsal to talk about mic technique or how to handle difficult singing passages.  This short commentary in the middle of your rehearsal gives them some insight into the process and is a great reminder for your established team members.

Mentorships!  Musicians love to share their knowledge with younger performers, so take advantage of this.  Pair your students with established members of your team.  The adults can answer questions during rehearsal, provide encouragement and feedback in a trusted relationship, and serve as a prayer partner and spiritual mentor as well!

Let me share a bit of my personal testimony in this area.  I had planned to write this post yesterday afternoon, but time got away from me.  Since this has been on my heart for a while, I had begun to take the steps to add 3 teen singers to my local worship team.  What I saw in rehearsal was so encouraging.  The students enjoyed themselves and the adult singers stepped up and began mentoring and encouraging those students.  What a positive first rehearsal for these young ladies.

As scary as it may seem when you begin to think about it, I encourage you to take the step and add teens and children to your regular praise team.  There will certainly be obstacles (the very nature of working with children and teens), but the benefits to the local ministry and the students’ lives are well worth the effort.

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