SHAWNEE—The next generation of worship leaders learned to glorify God with their musical gifts at Resonate Worship Arts Camp at OBU June 26-30.
Resonate, sponsored by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma worship and music office, is a leadership camp for high school students, selected by their pastors, who have a special gift for leading worship. There were 115 participants this year, which makes it the largest year of the three-year-old camp.
The name “Resonate” is based on 1 Thess. 1:8. “For the Word of God has sounded forth from you . . . every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything!”
Kenneth Gabrielse, dean of the OBU School of Fine Arts, and founder/co-sponsor of the camp, said that verse was chosen because the songs they sing and the words they say are not their own.
“We personally don’t have a reason to say anything,” Gabrielse said. “It’s the Lord who gives us a song, gives us a word. He has a reason to say something. We’re supposed to resound that.”
Students participated in either a large orchestra or worship choir, depending on where they are gifted. They could also choose from several different smaller groups that related to their specific skill. These groups focused on drama, piano, songwriting, drums, sound, media technology and more, and were taught by adult worship leaders. All groups aimed to instill leadership values in students.
Ashlyn Pine, a student from Newcastle, said the instruction she received in voice gave her more confidence. She usually sings in a praise band on Wednesday nights at her church, but said this camp “makes me want to sing by myself more at church, because I don’t really do that.”
Confidence in being a leader is what students should take away from the camp, according to Kat Hunter, who is on staff at Resonate and just graduated from OBU with a degree in music. She said she wants students to learn to “use their talents for God’s glory. This camp is to help them grow that talent and encourage them.”
In addition to sessions specifically related to musical skills, students participated in larger worship and preaching sessions every morning and evening. Alex Jones, a recent graduate of Elk City High School, said he enjoys seeing everyone worship in the services because he gets to see how they worship when they are not onstage.
“The Bible says worship is like a sacrifice,” Jones said. “And these people definitely know how to give whenever they worship. It’s cool.”
Students were able to take away many things from Resonate, ranging from how to have proper posture when they sing to how to center their life on Christ. But ultimately, the staff hopes students will learn how to use their gifts for God’s glory. Gabrielse wants Resonate to grow in the coming years to train the next generation of worship leaders to have a large impact for the kingdom.