It takes a mentor village
Easter afternoon with my extended family:
- 11 tiny kids
- 10 young adults
- 6 middle-aged grandparents
- 1 great-grandpa
Little lessons everywhere:
- No peeking as eggs are hidden
- Where eggs hide
- What baskets are for
- Grasping and pulling apart a slippery plastic sphere
- Two treats now; the rest for later
- Letting little cousins go first
- Saying “I’m sorry” when you make your cousin cry
- Drinking from a cup when chocolate makes you thirsty
Being part of an intentional group of adults, each of us pouring wisdom and love into the hearts of these children, simply made me happy. Because I’ve been blessed to have intentional mentors in my life, too.
Mentors of my own
Each mentor has played a significant role in my growth as a follower of Christ:
- LeRoi and Juanita Arroues, my mom and dad who lived life with Jesus right in front of me
- Mrs. Peck, my third grade Sunday School teacher who taught me—when often I was the only student in her class—that I was a very-loved child of God
- Audrey Frerking, who took this introverted junior higher to the senior care facility each month, forcing me out of my comfort zone and into sweet relationships with lonely people
- Clay Ford, my youth pastor whose soft heart to the Spirit planted in me a thirst for deeper communion with my Savior
- Margie Davis and Ti Buckman, who met with me and two of my friends weekly at IHOP, challenging us to take serious faith into our schools
- Carolyn Roper, who for decades invited pastors’ wives into her home, persistently reminding us that as we serve our families and our churches, God shows us grace
But for all these mentors in my life, I’ve never had a worship mentor. A person who proactively took me aside and taught me what it means to serve the Lord in worship with my gifts of music.
I’ve had lots of examples, and lots of sojourners, on this journey of worship:
- The five of us who made up the folk group Victory, learning together how to take our passion for Jesus and put it into song
- The Jesus Movement groups who came through our church coffee house—Love Song, Children of the Day, Ernie and Debby Rettino
- Dear friends worshiping beside me at women’s retreats, sometimes raising voices and hands to the rafters, other times falling face-down on the floorboards
- My worship team co-laborers, patiently learning with me what it means to serve our congregation well
- Authors and workshop leaders, each one bringing me to a deeper understanding of the calling of worship ministry: Kathryn Scott, Tom Kraeuter, Dwayne Moore, Darlene Czschech, Bob Kauflin, Rory Noland
Yet, where was the person who would take me aside and say, “Jeanelle, I see a gift in you. I see a heart of worship. Let me help you fine-tune your music skills so that they are suited for worship. Let me walk you through what it means to serve your church with a heart of courage and humility.”
Maybe those worship mentors were out there, but they just didn’t know how to come alongside me, or that they should.
A resource for worship mentors
People who have a desire to come alongside others in worship are out there. I know many of them; in fact, I am one of them. I’ve had the privilege of working with several worship interns; of speaking hope and practical help to my fellow team members as their Director of Worship; of working with whole youth groups for entire summers to train them in the heart and art of worship ministry.
But how much better would it have been if I’d had those mentors in my own life first? And how much better would it have been if there had even been a book specifically written to help those of us who sincerely desired to mentor others in worship but didn’t know where to begin?
This is why I’m so grateful for Tom Kraeuter’s vision to gather a group of seasoned worship leaders and worship mentors, inviting each one to write a chapter about mentoring the next generation.
I am honored beyond words to be one of these authors.
I’m pleased to announce that this book is now available for purchase! And it has received some amazing reviews (check out the reviews and video: Mentoring Worship Leaders).
If you yourself have a passion to pour into the lives of the next generation of worship leaders, or if you know of someone who does, I eagerly invite you to buy copies of the book today! Just email me or Facebook Message me and let me know how many books you need. I’ll get them to you at a significant discount:
Treasure Valley Area (hand-delivered by me, no shipping cost)
$12 each (1-2 books)
$10 each (3+ books)
Outside the Treasure Valley Area (shipped to you, no shipping cost in the U.S.)
$14 each (1-2 books)
$12 each (3+ books)
(If you order them through the video link above, one book costs $14 plus $5 shipping.)
Who are your mentors?
If you’ve had significant spiritual mentors in your own life (worship or otherwise), maybe you’d like to honor them by mentioning them in a Comment below? I would be so blessed to hear how God has used someone in your life! They would be too!
Following the Shepherd, with you—