Earlier this week, I came across a great post called “Raising Up the Next Generation” over at the Worship Together blog.

Not exactly sure what caught my attention, but I “pinned” it in my bloglines feed and I’ve been referring back to it every day or two. This morning at church, something happened that reminded me of the post.

Jake is a middle-schooler (age 13?) who serves on the GP Productions team at GracePoint. He doesn’t just hang out with the tech team, he actively serves! More on that in a minute.

This morning I heard the coolest thing from Shawn, who heads up the Productions team. He was looking at something, and I heard him shout out “Jake. Come here for a second. I want your opinion on this.”

Can you imagine how Jake must have felt to to be asked his opinion? What a self-confidence boost for this young man!

I think Jake has been serving for about a year now. Every Sunday, he is there at the break of dawn to unload the trailer and help set up the video equipment. He’s also one of the last people there each week helping with teardown.

At first, I would see him shadowing people on Sundays. Then he started setting up projectors, directing people backstage, etc… A few weeks ago, I even saw him running the video switcher during the Sunday services! How ridiculously cool is that? He has more responsibility than most people on Sunday mornings.

Jake sometimes helps out backstage telling the band when to go on, etc… Back in January, we had some guest rappers. I overheard Shawn introducing them to Jake. He said that Jake would be letting them know when to come backstage, and when to come out, etc… He told them not to be fooled by his age – that Jake knew exactly what he was doing and was one of the most important members of the Productions team. (Apparently there had been an incident with a previous special guest who ignored Jake due to his age…)

Shawn, I really applaud you for (a) recognizing the talent, commitment, and potential in this young man, and (b) for be willing to mentor him, to train him, and to allow him to serve alongside the “big kids” using some really expensive equipment.

I was reminded this morning that I was in the same situation when I was Jake’s age. Rick ran sound at my church every week. He allowed me to sit with him each Sunday, and taught me how everything worked. Eventually, he let me run sound unassisted when he was out of town. I was probably 15 or 16 when that occurred. Thanks Rick!

We recently auditioned a 17-year-old young lady named Tera to sing with Edge of Grace. This will be the first time that a student has ever been in the band. I hope to follow Shawn’s lead in helping her to learn to lead others in worship.

Take a moment to read the Worship Together post, and think about how you can apply it in your ministry or organization.


3 Responses to Jake

  1. AmyB says:

    The first time that I started volunteering and participating on a church worship team I was probably between 12 and 14. When a young person is encouraged like that it leaves an indelible mark on their lives. I may have strayed off the straight and narrow for several years as a young adult, but I’ve come back and surrendered myself once again, having been beckoned by the Lord for some time now. I’m so grateful for the adults who encouraged me when I was younger so that now that I have grown up a little bit, I know what my heart’s desire is and Whom I want to serve, and that nothing else will make me feel more fulfilled.

  2. AmyB says:

    Oh and PS – much props to the awesome Jake!

  3. mandoron says:

    Thanks for sharing Amy.

    Does anyone else have any stories of serving as a youth?

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