Most parents want their kids to excel in life – in their academics, sports, hobbies, and arts. We hire tutors for the studies, coaches for their mechanics, and pay for lessons so they can master some performing art and win an award.
So, why don’t we want our kids to excel in worship?
God’s word is clear on the subject. Discipleship is the responsibility of the family with the support of the body of believers in church. Every study clearly demonstrates that whatever faith develops in a student before their 18th birthday is likely to be the foundation of belief for their entire lives. Whatever we are doing with our kids, we need to help them know God’s word and find their voice of praise in worship.
Student choirs can help.
“But, my kids don’t want to come to choir.” I get that. And, I also admit that not every choir experience makes it easy for parents to encourage their students to participate. They may not be very well planned or have very little incentive for students to participate.
I can’t remember a single time my parents asked me if I wanted to go to church or sing in choir or go on a mission trip. They just signed me up and told me I was going. Our family was a lot of things – a democracy was not one of them.
But, churches can help by making student choirs more than an after thought and more than just a music experience. Choir can be an active and vibrant part of the plan for the student and worship ministries. Student Pastors and Worship Pastors can be on the same page and work closely together so their students will have every opportunity to develop the spiritual discipline of worship – which by the way, is not just for a few singers. It is for every believer.
Student choirs can be a place where a student can develop a few other disciplines that can serve them their whole lives. They might learn their contribution to the world doesn’t revolve around only their best abilities. They might find a voice to worship with that will carry them their entire lives. They could even find joy in serving others in settings far outside their comfort zones on an athletic field.
To be sure, students can learn to worship and serve in other activities. But, if we are not careful, they can also learn to sit and stare as a few kids do all the singing like they were on an early episode of The Voice.
This week, we are hosting hundreds of teenagers at SonPower in Orlando, Florida. They will be singing and serving all week from churches across the country. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
And it can happen in your church too. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see our kids excel in worship?
Maybe a student choir can help.
Mike Harland is the Director of LifeWay Worship. When he’s not directing 30+ employees, you’ll find him leading worship at various churches around the country, writing/arranging worship songs and/or, writing his next book. In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family. Mike can be found on Twitter @MikeHarlandLW and on facebook.com/Mike.Harland.37.