Using teenagers and college students in my worship ministry is something that I have been passionate about for a good while now. This has sometimes been intentional, sometimes subconscious, and sometimes out of necessity. Either way, I have seen how the student benefits as well as the entire church body. If you are a worship pastor, I would encourage you to recruit high school and college students to be a consistent part of your worship team. Here’s why:
People gave me opportunities when I was a student. I was first given the opportunity to help lead worship when I was fifteen. I was not ready for it. But I was allowed to make mistakes. These early opportunities were essential in my growth as a Christian and as a worship leader. I cherish those memories (even the embarrassing ones) and are forever grateful to the people who provided that for me.
They will grow up to be leaders. Every leader has a beginning. Teenagers and college students shouldn’t have to wait until they are older to be allowed to have influence. And the truth is, the emerging generation wants to be given a chance to lead. If they aren’t allowed that at your church, they will either go to a church where they will be allowed, or they will drop out all together. I encourage you to develop these young leaders. Take a chance on them. They will never forget it.
They can breathe new life into your worship ministry. Youthfulness brings with it a certain energy that only they can bring. They can challenge you to try and keep things fresh and they can encourage you to constantly strive for creativity. They can also be an encouragement to the congregation to see young people giving of their gifts, talents, and time to serve and minister to them. This can not only energize your worship ministry, but can energize the entire church as well.
They can help you transition into the the future. Much like breathing new life into your worship ministry, they can be incredibly useful in transitioning your church or worship culture into the next phase or season. For example, a worship leader may want to lead the church to be a little more contemporary, but has some push back from those who prefer a more traditional approach (not trying to stereotype here). If he had a teenage boy playing guitar, his grandma (okay, I may be stereotyping a little) would be so thrilled to see her grandson serving Christ with his musical talents, she and her friends might excuse the stylistic preferences that come with guitars and instruments, because of the joy they get knowing that young people are involved.
There are many reasons to use high school and college students in your worship ministry. These are just a few. They are just as much part of the body of Christ as anyone else and they should be treated as such, by equipping them for the work of the ministry.
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