Engaging & Developing the Next Generation (part 1)

Post a Comment » Written on August 25th, 2014     
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by Jessica Perez

I have always loved working with students. In fact, before I joined our staff full time as the music director, I spent many years on student ministry staff & teaching music in public school. I believe in the next generation & feel a heavy responsibility & calling to raise them up.

A few years ago, I had a moment of seeing students graduate & move on, underdeveloped, & I felt God say to me, “Shame on you!” That sounds harsh. But it was a sinking feeling in my gut.

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At that moment, I vowed to not become complacent about the next generation & the potential in them.

It’s a huge challenge as parents & ministry leaders to guide our children & students to discover their passions & gifts.

Besides, if we can unlock their potential & they become active volunteers & leaders around church, it builds our teams. Give them opportunities & environments where they can try things out & begin growing – especially as creative people in the church. Sometimes if you’re discouraged that there just aren’t any people around to join your band, choir, tech teams-engage with your middle school & high school students. To be a multigenerational church, it’s going to take intentionality, energy & an action plan.You have potential right in your midst that just needs unlocked.Carly Fiorina just spoke on unlocking potential at the Global Leadership Summit last week. She said, “Everyone has potential. Everyone has more potential than most of us realize. Human potential is the only limitless resource we have in this world.”

Carly Fiorina also said, “Leaders change the order of things.” “The highest calling of leadership is to unlock the potential of others.”

Here’s a quick hit list of my Action Steps:

  1. IMG_9472Keep your team & music selection current. Set a goal to eventually include a student a week.
  2. Spend time one on one – sing, play, laugh, get comfortable.

  3. Follow up – sing, play the music they’re working on.

  4. Invite them to participate in a weekend.

  5. Get together again & prepare 2 more songs.

  6. Feature them co-leading on a weekend. Set them up to succeed.

  7. Start scheduling 15 yr olds & older regularly. 1-2 times a month.

  8. Build up to leading a whole song.

  9. Lead the song 2 times in a row, 3 weeks apart.

  10. Give feedback early & often. Encourage them to watch themselves back on video & bring in notes.

  11. Now they’re ready to lead their best song in a big service – Easter/Christmas.

[You know I can’t end without a few pictures…]

High School Girl Takeover Weekend!

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Other fun features with our 8th graders – 11th graders…

10371508_10152079229441331_4511440029515189185_nimg_7304 copyKids Camp

Turner (high school student on the left) was the main photographer/videographer for kids camps this summer.

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Mateo, then 8th grader, getting all of us grown ups into my RV out back…

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Check out some of the full services led by students here!

Jessica Perez serves as the Worship & Creative Arts Director at Crossroads Covenant Church in Loveland, CO. This is the first part of a series on intergenerational worship we’ll be featuring here at Worship Connect.

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