If you are a worship leader, chances are there are people who have helped you get to where you are. It may have been a music instructor or another leader who gave you an opportunity. It might have been an encouraging or prophetic word spoken to you. Whoever it was, you would not be doing what you’re doing today had it not been for those people.
There are gifted young people in our churches who are waiting for someone to help them develop or give them an opportunity. Of all the things I’ve been a part of in ministry, there is nothing more rewarding than helping a young person follow his or her passion in ministry.
Here are some guidelines for raising up the next generation of worship leaders:
1. Recognizing Giftedness. Young people often can’t see their giftedness, and they need us to point it out. They feel insecure and awkward during the teen years. An affirming word will mean the world to them and will encourage them to pursue their passion.
2. Mentoring vs. Parenting. Remember that you are not their parent. God has put you into their lives to encourage and equip them. That being said, it’s also easy to take the young person’s side when they are at odds with their parents. Don’t do it. Always honor the parents and encourage them to submit to their parents’ authority.
3. Provide Opportunity. One of the reasons I believe we are losing so many young people after high school is that we don’t give them the opportunity to serve while they are young. Including a young person in your band will light their fire and be a huge encouragement to your church.
4. Lead By Example. Young people learn more by watching. The way you treat people, the way you love your family, and the way you honor others will speak volumes. Don’t feel like you have to teach them “lecture style”. Just let them live life with you and watch how you do things.
5. Gender Roles. It’s never a good idea to mentor a young person of the opposite sex. If you’re a guy, find a couple of Godly women in your ministry who can help mentor young ladies and vice versa.
6. View Results Through the Long Lens. If you’re a parent, then you know that change happens in young people over time. Be patient and consistent with your leadership, and the results will come eventually.
7. Passing the Torch. There may come a time when you need to hand over an area of ministry to a young person that is ready. As followers of Jesus, the worst thing we can do is hunker down when God is moving us along. Just because you are handing the reigns to a young leader doesn’t mean your job is done. You’ll always be influential.
Helping others achieve their dreams is very rewarding and will become a great source of joy in your life!