Singing songs in four part harmony may not be your church’s weekly practice, especially for teenagers, but learning to sing harmony alongside many other singing teenage students from across Tennessee can certainly be foundational for music making in church worship. Singing lyrics that are biblically sound and theologically rich as well as musically satisfying encourages the soul to worship. Engagement in group singing provides a crucial step in the development of a well-rounded Christian disciple. What’s more, it is in this music-making that students discover particular gifts for music leadership, and begin piquing interest and honing skills that may well lead to more serious music study. It was on these premises that Youth Project was begun. Indeed, from the ranks of students who have participated in this annual event we have seen the Lord call out students who have taken next steps toward training in worship music leadership. We have heard of many more who take part in worship music leading for their youth groups, and some who serve as children’s music leaders in their churches.
On January 31-February 1, Tennessee Baptist Convention Worship & Music Ministry teams up with Carson Newman University’s Ball Institute for Church Music to present the 13th Annual Youth Project for Youth Choirs at First Baptist Church Dandridge, Tennessee. Although Youth Project is built on a youth choir format, students whose church does not have an ongoing youth choir ministry are welcome to participate. Church leaders are welcome to bring one student singer or 100 student singers. Just be certain to register so we will have a longsleeve tshirt and meals for each student. Cost also includes a commemorative DVD of the weekend’s activities for each student that will be sent to the church later.
There are numerous documented advantages that go along with learning to sing in a choir or music group. Secular academicians and health experts have identified social and health benefits. I recommend music ministry leaders check out Music Advocacy websites frequently for helpful material. Renewed interest in choir singing in American culture may have been prompted by television series like NBC’s popular show, The SingOff! and Fox Television’s controversial program, Glee. For church youth groups and student believers, though, there are benefits beyond the individual well-being recognized in secular culture. Group singing aids worship training that can establish a pattern for students in admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs as instructed in Colossians 3. Learning to contribute in part-singing without being “star of the show” helps to develop the spirit of service that benefits the larger message of Gospel truth expressed through the art of music.
Regardless of music style utilized in a church’s worship, those who will sing, play, and lead for years to come will need some grasp of how music works, and how it serves the environment of Christian worship. Youth Project provides exposure to and participation in music-making. It can be one step to encourage students in their growth as well rounded Christ followers who offer praise through music. Check out the website today and register your students for Youth Project 2014. www.tnworshipandmusic.org