Rarely will you find my weekly calendar without a meeting or lunch scheduled with a student or young adult. Even as I write this, my office is filled with musical teenagers who practice, create and embellish worship songs. (They still amaze me with their raw ability and musical ear!)
I love mentoring, encouraging and training the next generation of worshippers, worship leaders and Christ lovers! I don’t know where I’d be without the love and encouragement of my Youth and Worship Pastor. The many hours spent playing ping-pong in the church basement or hanging-out in his office was not wasted time. It knit my heart to the passions, giftings and heart of God.
We, as mature Christ followers, are called to make disciples. (Matthew 28:19) It should be a part of our DNA. Christ modeled it and mandated that we pour into others. The early apostles rarely did ministry alone. Moses had a Joshua; Paul had a Timothy.
I know that I am one of the few worship leaders who mentor and utilize teenagers in our regular rotation of worship leaders on the platform on Sundays. In many churches, youth are only invited to participate in an annual “Youth Sunday.” Other than that, they are left to play their loud and un-tamed songs in a youth service far away from adults. (He said with a smile…)
Something long ago was placed in me; a desire to raise up the next generation of worshippers and worship leaders. I can’t tell you when it was birthed, but it seems to have spilled over from my years as a teen who passionately loved Jesus. It didn’t stop when God called me to stand before adults to lead them in worship. I LOVE the fact that every week, our team includes students as young as middle schoolers, young adults, moms and dads and even grandparents, leading God’s people in worship.
I work hard to develop an inter-generational worship experience led by an inter-generational worship team. Why? Because we want to model the principle of discipleship. Our young people have a lot to learn from our older team members, and our older team members glean from the giftings of the younger.
I am so proud of students under my care, who have embraced God’s calling in their life to enter ministry or lead others. I know that the time we’ve shared together isn’t wasted. I pray it has knitted their hearts closer to God’s heart. And in turn, I pray they will pour their life into the next generation of worshippers.