training up the next generation: part 1

How many times has this happened to you?

A student comes up to you and says they play an instrument, and they want to be in your praise band. You have no idea how this students ranks skill-wise, or where he or she is at spiritually. You tell them to call your office, or message you on Facebook, or you take their number. You lose their number, or they never contact you.  They find you the next week, and you set up a time to “audition,” and one of you has to cancel due to scheduling issues. You never see the student again.

All too many times I have let students slip through the cracks because I did not have a system in place that was geared towards handling these kinds of approaches from students.  I kept putting off launching a “system” because the idea seemed too daunting of a task.

Several months ago, I was at a Tuesday night rehearsal for one of our main services, and noticed a technique I hadn’t seen before. The worship leader had invited players who expressed interest in joining the group to come on Tuesday nights and play “unplugged” alongside other members.   I was on acoustic that night, so I had one of the new folks shadow me.  He was a high school student who was passionate about worship , and really wanted to improve his skills.

Over the next few weeks, Brandon and I became training buddies. I let him play right next to me and pointed out things during practice – like how to read a tricky chart, or where to listen for a change in the drums, etc.  He was learning more and more every week, and we were also getting to know Brandon’s heart, in addition to his skill level and dedication.

I began to think…what if?  What if this shadowing technique could work on a bigger scale with my student bands?  What if this was the solution for receiving the constant influx of potential new players?

In the next few blogs I will let you know what happened to the “what if?” revelation I had.  It has revolutionized my approach to training and mentoring, and I have never been so excited about raising up young students to be worship leaders!

3 Responses to “training up the next generation: part 1”

  1. 1 John
    April 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Remember me a s a resource for you – numerous worship leaders and praise team members have attended the CBC Guitar Praise group for a time. Several of the guitarists for Puresound have been in the group to learn the music, learn how to follow charts, learn different strumming patterns and play within a group. I currently have 4 adult players who play on praise teams for other churches. One more leads worship for a small church in Schertz, just think about it. Take care, John

  2. 2 Julia Inman
    April 14, 2011 at 5:55 pm


    Can’t wait to hear next installments. God does “teach” us in unexpected ways. Thank you for teaching those who need to hear what you’ve learned.


  3. 3 Kathy
    April 14, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Misty – Looking forward to seeing how the “training” sessions are going to be rescheduled. Dylan loved being part of the few he had the opportunity to attend! Thank you for your willingness to share your craft and talent for this next generation!

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