This week, LifeWay Worship is hosting students from all over the country in a week of ministry and worship development right here in Nashville! Hundreds of students are coming with their churches to play and sing in worship, serve in various mission points across the city, and learn from some of the finest worship leaders and musicians in Nashville.
LifeWay Worship is committed to helping churches train the next generation of worshippers through conferences like this. The stakes are too high to sit this out. We must help our students find their worship voice that they will use the rest of their lives as disciples.
Why does it matter so much?
Praise is a necessary worship discipline needed by every disciple.
The growth of a disciple is fostered by growth in the area of worship. The command to praise our Heavenly Father is the most often repeated command of scripture. Why? Was it because He has a deficit that needs to be filled by our worship? Of course not! He does not need our worship to be God. But we need to worship Him to retain a right view of who He is, who we are, and how we serve Him. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, “Our worship doesn’t change God – it changes us.”
Students in particular need to get beyond themselves in worship.
Most students are in a process of discovering who they are, what they care about, and how they think about themselves. They are constantly wondering how other people view them and often form their view of themselves by how others relate to them. At the same time, singing is something that requires a person to get beyond themselves, to put themselves out there in a vulnerable way. Except for the few students who identify themselves with music (that’s another blog), most students are reluctant to let praise erupt when they are with other students. Learning how to engage in corporate worship is one of the most important ways students can learn that living out the Gospel is all about learning to get beyond yourself and to offer all of your being to Christ. Worship helps us do that.
Every believer needs to find their “worship voice.”
When we come to Christ, the Bible tells us that God puts a song in our mouths to sing. (Psalm 40:3). Sadly, many people go through life and never find their voice to sing the song God put there and the rest of us never hear it. There is no better time for disciples to find their worship voice than when they are students. The energy and enthusiasm that students can bring to worship can change the dynamic of an entire church. If a group of students find their voices in worship, it can change a city, or even a world.
Don’t settle for your students standing and staring during corporate worship! It really matters to them and to the rest of us if they sing!
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 (checkout his latest book: Worship Essentials). In his spare time, he loves playing basketball and spending time with his family (and his two new grand-babies). Visit MikeHarland.com to keep up with all that Mike has going on.