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Worship leadership taught to high schoolers

SHAWNEE, Okla (BP) — The next generation of worship leaders learned to glorify God with their musical gifts at Resonate Worship Arts Camp at Oklahoma Baptist University, sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma worship and music office.

High school students gifted in leading worship are selected for Resonate by their pastors, with 115 students participating in this year’s June 26-30 sessions, the largest attendance of the three-year-old camp.

The name “Resonate” is based on 1 Thessalonians 1:8, which reads, “For the Word of God has sounded forth from you … every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything!”

Kenneth Gabrielse, dean of OBU’s School of Fine Arts and founder/co-sponsor of the camp, said the verse was chosen because the songs believers sing and the words they say are not their own.

“We personally don’t have a reason to say anything,” Gabrielse said. “It’s the Lord who gives us a song, gives us a word. He has a reason to say something. We’re supposed to resound that.”

Students participated in either a large orchestra or worship choir, depending on their gifts. They also chose from several smaller groups taught by adult worship leaders related to their specific skills, such as drama, piano, songwriting, drums, sound and media technology.

Ashlyn Pine, a student from Newcastle, Okla., said the instruction she received in voice gave her more confidence. She usually sings in a praise band on Wednesday nights at her church, but she said the camp “makes me want to sing by myself more at church, because I don’t really do that.”

Confidence in being a leader is what students should take away from the camp, said Kat Hunter, a recent OBU music graduate and Resonate staff member. She said she wants students to learn to “use their talents for God’s glory. This camp is to help them grow that talent and encourage them.”

In addition to sessions specifically related to musical skills and even instruction in their posture for leading worship, students participated in larger worship and preaching sessions every morning and evening. Alex Jones, a recent graduate of Elk City High School, said he enjoys seeing everyone worship in the services because he gets to see how they worship when they are not onstage.

“The Bible says worship is like a sacrifice,” Jones said. “And these people definitely know how to give whenever they worship. It’s cool.”
Reprinted from the Baptist Messenger, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahaoma.

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  • Brittney Brown