Rev. Christopher Wilson, Arla Bywater, Lilly Scholars
Don Wharry, Congregational Representative
Rush Creek Christian Church is seeking to establish a Children’s Music Program with a focus age between PreK and 5th grade children. The music program would primarily be vocal but could include some instrumental qualities as well.
One of the primary goals is to expand our music ministry within the life of the congregation. This project will allow us to widen the range of age that people can participate, contribute, and share their gifts to glorify God through music and in worship. Another major goal is the teaching of theology and music to the younger ages of our church membership. We want to educate our young people on the value of music and what it means to our personal and communal spirituality with God.
The practical goals for this project are as follows: 1) develop a framework for a children’s music program that has a foundation that can be built upon for the future, 2) establish a children’s music program that celebrates joy in sharing music to the wider church as a gift to God, and 3) developing the confidence and skills of young people to share and participate in the life of worship at the church.
Actions to Accomplish the Goals
We have three distinct actions that will help us reach the goals we have set for ourselves:
- Recruit a blend of staff and church members to be a team that oversees the children’s music program so that it shared among staff and volunteers. The hope is that the project is not dependent on one person but shared by several.
- We seek to acquire all the right tools to enable us to conduct this program to be successful: tools include, music to teach the children, curriculum for teaching about music, obtain folders for each of the children for their music, and establish a method of listening to the music away from practices to reinforce music learned.
- Create a schedule and rehearsal time that maximizes the level of participation in the program by as many children as possible (this includes the schedules of the parents who will bring them). Knowing that children have many options with their time, we want to select a time that makes it easier for children to participate.
Impact on the Congregation
We foresee several positive impact implications for our church this children’s music program:
- The addition of the youngest generations of our church actively sharing in worship and contributing to the richness of our music on Sunday mornings.
- The congregation seeing the addition of a children’s music program as a growing part of our intent to be more intergenerational in our congregational life.
- Enabling children to lead in a public setting with more confidence and build character in our children.
- This will grow the level of participation in our congregation.
- A blend of education and music blended together to education our children about worship.
- Allows for a deeper fellowship and joy among the children as they connect and form friendships within the life of the church.
This project encourages and requires both the minister and musician staff to think about the role of the children’s music program related to the larger scope of worship for the wider church. We already have a long-term plan for sermon and music in worship. This will only expand the need for planning, coordinating, and thinking through the theology of message and music and how best to include music from a children’s music program that enhances worship as an integral part of worship rather than as a performance in worship. The teamwork approach needed for this project will further enhance and provide skills needed for other music initiatives called upon by the minister and musician staff.