One of the best ways to pass our faith along is to involve children in the ministry of the church, and one of the best ways to do that is to involve children in the proclamation of the Music Ministry as much as possible. This Sunday morning at Trinity could be called Youth Music Sunday because close to 80 children will be leading the music at our worship services. At the 8:00 a.m. service we welcome the Concordia Lutheran School Concert Band and Concert Choir directed by Eric Hipple and at 10:45 a.m. we welcome the Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago directed by Emily Ellsworth.
There is actually Biblical precedent for the involvement of youth in the proclamation that occurs during worship. In 1 Chronicles 25, the Chronicler tells of how King David organized the temple musicians. Interestingly, he takes great care to name the primary musicians (see below). He also notes very specifically that there were 288 singers who were especially skillful and had received specialized training in their art. It is clear from the last verse below that among the 288, the Chronicler includes young student musicians. They sang alongside their teachers, learning by doing.
David and the chiefs of the service also set apart for the service the sons of Asaph, and of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals. The list of those who did the work and of their duties was: Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah, sons of Asaph, under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied under the direction of the king. Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei,a Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. Of Heman, the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel and Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth. All these were the sons of Heman the king’s seer, according to the promise of God to exalt him, for God had given Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. They were all under the direction of their father in the music in the house of the LORD with cymbals, harps, and lyres for the service of the house of God. Asaph, Jeduthun, and Heman were under the order of the king. The number of them along with their brothers, who were trained in singing to the LORD, all who were skillful, was 288. And they cast lots for their duties, small and great, teacher and pupil alike.
1 Chronicles 25:1-8
It is very interesting that in the Old Testament we have this very specific example of discipleship, in this case the discipleship of musicians. We pray that the Lord will richly bless each of the young musicians involved in our worship services this Sunday and use them in powerful ways.