SHAWNEE—Resonate is a worship arts camp designed for high school students. Resound is designed for middle school students, and making its debut this summer, KidFest allows 4th-6th graders to join in the fun of learning how to worship through music and arts.

All three camps drew more than 350 students and leaders combined at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU).

From June 27-July 1, Resonate campers were involved in sessions of choir, orchestra, stomp, technical arts and song writing. Randy Lind, worship and music ministries specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), said what has made Resonate so valuable is the impact it has made on current worship leaders and specifically students who are active worship leaders at their churches.

“The goal is to connect these young men and women with their passion,” Lind said. “They already are worship leaders at their churches, so what we’ve got to do is take them wherever they are and help them develop. There’s a high emphasis on music development, but there’s also a high emphasis on spiritual development throughout the week. We help them make music that points people intentionally to a life-changing relationship with Christ.”

The speaker for Resonate this year was Louima Lilite, OBU associate music professor. Lind said Lilite spoke on the subject of purity.

“He knocked it out of the park,” Lind said about Lilite’s messages during Resonate. “He talked about purity in every area of our lives—spiritually, musically and physically. He did a really great job.”

Sessions at Resonate involved two significant aspects. First, campers were involved in “cross-training,” so they would be trained, or at least familiar, with different aspects of a church worship service. Along with either choral or orchestra rehearsals, they also participated in sessions of tech support.

Lind said campers learned how to do audio with the equipment used during Resonate. They also were trained on running visual aspects of tech services, including software used to feature song lyrics and graphics for sermons shown on screens.

“I know some people who have gone to Resonate previously who are now running the tech services at their churches,” Lind said. “One of the things I love about Resonate is, by ‘Day Two,’ the students are running the tech. They do classes; they do training; and they have instructors looking over their shoulder, but it’s hands-on.”

The second significant aspect is mentorship. Lind said the campers were mentored by college students who are Resonate “alumni,” during the Resonate camp sessions, but then Resonate campers would in turn be involved as mentors during the Resound and KidFest camps, which met June 30-July 1 at OBU.

“This has been one of the ‘secret sauces,’” Lind said about the mentoring system at Resonate, “because just as the Bible says, ‘One generation shall praise Your works to another,’ we are taking adult leadership into the classes, and we have some guest mentors who are helping lead our classes. The whole idea is to take these students, when Resound comes in and when KidFest comes in, and have them pour into the generation coming up behind them.”

Randy Holt, music minister at Muskogee, First, along with his wife Mary, once again led the Resound music camp. The Holts taught middle school campers a number of songs as well as music fundamentals.

KidFest was well attended for its inaugural season with 47 campers and leaders. Angela Lee, who serves as the children’s choir coordinator at Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, said campers spent their time at OBU learning choir anthems and enjoying activities that taught rhythm and singing techniques.

“The joy on the kids’ faces as they worked together to ring ‘Jesus Loves Me’ for the first time on the bells is something that I won’t ever forget.”

Lee said KidFest campers enjoyed the “small taste of what college life is like on Bison Hill.” All three camps were involved in a joint performance July 1 in OBU’s Raley Chapel.

“I am so thankful that the BGCO sees the value in investing in these young lives and teaching them about worship,” Lee said.

Lind also was pleased with the camps results and their impact on the campers.

“The kids are excited,” he said. “You can send us your kids, and we send them back to your ministries, excited and more equipped to engage in your local church.”