I got the opportunity last night, along with the other youth leaders, to meet with the members of our youth praise band and plan out music for the next couple months in the youth department. We had a blast, and I was reminded why we let the members of the team have a say in the music we work on for their worship services. Here’s how we did it.
We began the meeting by having each member read out their wish list of songs that they had prepared ahead of time. I typed all their ideas into Evernote, and read them back so that everyone was reminded of the songs that were mentioned.
Next, I went into Planning Center, our church’s planning hub of choice, and produced service templates for all of the youth worship services through the end of November. We then began hashing through the new songs, determining which ones to work on.
When we picked a new song, we determined that we would do it two weeks in a row so the youth group as a whole would get the chance to learn it with us. Then we built two services around the new song. We referenced the key of the song, theme, key words, scriptures, and their own perspectives to find songs that could accompany each new song in the services they were to be used.
Once we had a couple of services built around a new song, we repeated the process until we had two months of services planned.
The benefits of this approach…
- Our teens listen to a broader mix of music than I do. They are tapped in to the most current releases, and follow more modern groups than I am able to follow. I got a lot of additions to my personal playlist as a result of that meeting.
- Their perspective is more secular. Let’s face it… I work with Christians all week. They live their Christian lives amongst unbelievers. This, along with their age, provides a different perspective, one of which I am not capable.
- I get to train them. They may not have realized it was happening, but as we went through the meeting, I took the opportunity to give them tips and suggestions about how to plan worship. As far as I know, our church’s next pastor in charge of music was in that room with me last night. Might as well give him a leg up. Also, there were a couple of suggestions that were not doctrinal, and I was able to explain why the theology behind our songs is so important.