More Than Music

More Than Music

Posted on August 16, 2018

BY KENDRA KIRBY, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF CENTRALIZED WORSHIP

Psalm 8:1-2: O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!  Your glory is higher than the heavens. You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength, silencing your enemies and all who oppose you.
 
Since stepping into the OutLoud ministry 6 months ago, I’ve had the opportunity to observe, hold conversations with many students and parents, and begin dreaming about the future for this special ministry. If you have a little one in Grace Kids, you might know they gather each weekend for a worship service of their own – complete with service host, blessing over the offering, sermon and worship. (The only thing that might look different is getting stopped during a sermon or worship set to hear about a child’s favorite pair of shoes. ☺) 
 
OutLoud is the worship team that serves these Preschool through 2nd-grade classes and is comprised of 150+ student and adult leaders (between our 3 campuses) and divided into smaller teams who serve one day (or weekend) a month. What that means is children minister to other children through song and dance.  And for all the decisions and choices made about the direction of this ministry, Psalm 8:1-2 has been my guiding light. My highest desire is giving children songs to sing in their darkest hours. 
 
These are the fertile years for seed planting and nurturing the start of a faith that stands up to the teenage years soon coming. The years when faith will be questioned and tested, where identity is being formed, and choices are made that shape character. Arming children and infants to silence the enemy and all who oppose Him is of upmost importance. What arming children practically looks like is teaching “hooky” songs (that get stuck in your head the entire day – I know, I’m sorry parents!), and songs full of scripture and Christian principles. Scripture combined with fun dance moves (and a few flosses thrown in for good measure!), help to engage the students while equipping them with Truth.  
 
For many, OutLoud is a child’s introduction to serving in the church. They learn how to work together as a team, speak in front of a room of children, radiate God’s love and sing and speak with the inherent authority God has given them by answering His call to step into ministry. For many, families have found a place to serve together – a parent as an OutLoud leader or Creative Communicator, an older sibling on Production and younger sibling in Kids Drama, Puppets or OutLoud. It’s a sweet way parents have been able to stay involved and shape their child’s church experience while ministering to others.
 
One such family serving together are the Lockwoods. Grace, Bri and Angie serve on the 4th-weekend team at the 146th Campus and have been involved for many years. And specifically, Grace has served through her Senior Year of High School. You know there is something special about a volunteer ministry that keeps pulling a family back year after year. I wanted you to hear in Grace’s own words her experience and her seasons of being poured into and being poured out.   

I have been in OutLoud since like 5th grade, and throughout the years there have been so many people who have given me so many opportunities and have poured so much love and time into me. Starting with Jamie Schlink and Teri Capehart, these women taught me what it was to be a leader. While sometimes Jamie showed tough love, she also taught me how to love others without boundaries. Then there was Teri, who show me to love others and display God’s love through song and by just being friends with others. Then there was Dave, who was like a second father to me, he guided me and refined me by not only showing me the outloud motions and telling me that I am not allowed to have noodle arms, but he was always there for me and showed me what outloud was truly about. Outloud is about loving kids unconditionally and leading them to God, and even when the 5th grade boys are “flossing” the entire time, they are hearing the words and watching people who come to lead them in worship and are watching their shepherds worship.
 
Those were the people who led me, but I haven’t even started talking about the people who worshiped beside me. Throughout my 8ish years of
OutLoud I have made friends of all ages, some older than me, some younger, but all have been impactful on my life. Their company was (and is) always welcome and the fellowship that came out of being part of an OutLoud team, was awesome because of the age difference. The variation of age showed different outlooks on situations. My OutLoud team also provide a safe place to talk and pray about things that were on my mind.
 
I love all of these people and how they showed me what God’s love is, that is why I stayed with OutLoud.  OutLoud gave me the opportunity to become a leader and made me who I am today.

We’re thankful for the Lockwoods and the other families that serve. Giving children words like rescue me, I want the power of the Holy Spirit living in me, trust in the Lord with all your heart, He who watches over you will not slumber help build an arsenal to powerfully oppose and silence the enemy for all the days of their life. What an amazing calling I’ve been fortunate enough to step into!  It doesn’t get any better than that.

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