January 24, 2016
Sometimes I have to remind myself that what I am seeing is pretty unusual. I didn't do an actual head count, but there must have been about thirty kids from fifth-graders to high school seniors milling about the church tonight as they headed to their lessons. Two years ago, one of our young men took it upon himself to teach a couple kids what he knew about guitar. It was a small beginnings, but such things are not to be despised. Last year we taught classes on beginning and intermediate guitar, bass, keyboard, box drum, brass, voice, and leading worship. Tonight we did all that, plus bongos and congas, video presentation, and sound booth. That we have so many youth eager to learn is a blessing; that we have so many adults willing to teach what they know is a gift to us all.
It's not just about the music lessons. Our goal is to raise up young adults who know how and are ready to worship. Following the lessons, one group of our kids took the stage to lead the others in worship before heading off to youth group. Did I mention how impressed I am with these kids?
My job is teaching bass which doesn't sound so bad, except that apart from the beginners, I don't know a whole lot more than these kids. I have to scramble just to keep ahead of them. Internet to the rescue! I am grateful tonight for the abundance of resources available online. It just takes a little time, a willingness to dig a bit, and a bit of cash to purchase a program that looks particularly promising. If I don't get better, they'll be teaching me pretty soon. Actually, that would be OK; it means we did our job. We aren't professionals; some of our teachers can't even read music, but we are doing the best we can with the gifts God has given us, doing what St. Paul spoke about when he told Timothy to take what he had learned to teach others who would teach the next generation. Timothy was young and inexperienced, but Paul poured into him. I'm no longer young, but these kids are, and they'll take it to the next level and the next generation. Some of them are already doing this.
It's been said that Christianity is never more than one generation away from extinction. Right now, that which was given us we passed along to our kids who are taking it to our grandkids. It is a beautiful thing to behold, and humbling to experience. Someone once said God isn't interested in our ability, but in our availability. I believe it, and am grateful for it.