Tag Archives: youth singing

Keep the Children Singing!

Written originally for the September 2009 Newsletter of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Waterloo, IA as Mabel and I prepared to serve a term as Interim Music Director and Coordinator

As I grew up in a small Reformed church in Pella, there were a great number of people within that church that took it upon themselves to encourage, teach, and mentor the young boy piano-player.

The impact these people had on my eventual involvement in music is immeasurable. I so looked-up to the adults of the church – especially those involved in the music of the church. From them I learned that my church was the “expected” place to use my talents, that they were God-given, and that they were much appreciated by the ‘big people’ of my church community.  Without their constant encouragement and challenging, I would not likely be involved in music today.

As Mabel and I serve during this interim time, the programs that we feel very strongly about are those that surround our children (ours and yours).  It is so important that our children learn early-on that their talents are given by God, and that the church is the place where their talent is upheld, encouraged, and appreciated.

We appreciate the programs that this church offers our children, and we equally appreciate the many adults that pro-actively and individually and personally encourage the children at every opportunity.

As a church it is important that our children understand clearly that;

  • The Church is the place for their music, and that
  • THIS church HAS a place for their music.

This is not universally true within the modern church. In fact, it is increasingly rare. Most churches anymore have no (or very little) to offer children musically – and there is virtually no room for them within the Sunday services.

Even today when I return to my home church during weekend visits to my parents’ home, many of the people (much older now) that were such an encouragement in my youth continue to take an Interest in my music and what I am doing and where. They are proud of the role they played in “establishing” me as a church musician, and feel that they are a part (however indirectly) of whatever it is that I’m doing today.

Let us be a church that continues to value and uphold the talents of our youth – whatever their current age – and encourage them to utilize and hone their talents within the warm and welcome atmosphere of their church. Such – it seems – is our responsibility – even our obligation – as the “big people” of their church.