The many hopes of a student worship band forming among the senior high youth group are at last coming to fruition. Seven students have come under the leadership of Allie Jost, Tabor senior and Youth Ministry Team member, to form a complete band. With Allie’s help, the band led worship for the first time Wednesday, Jan. 13.
A student band gives individuals another opportunity to participate in the youth ministry program in a deeper way and have a sense of belonging and ownership.
“I chose to play in the band because I have finally found a sense of comfort in sharing my singing interest,” vocalist Vance Klassen said. “I was always told I should sing for the church and I decided to take that leap.”
“I chose to serve in the worship band because I have wanted to learn how to play in a band and use my gifts to praise God,” said piano player Josh Kliewer. God obviously had a plan for the group when the original roster of sign-ups formed a complete band without any overlap for instrument. To get the band started,
Allie sent out audio files and chord charts so the students could familiarize themselves with the music ahead of time. Then students met with Allie for three hours on a Saturday morning for a “Worship Band Boot Camp” during which they learned to play the three songs together.
“I decided to help lead the youth band because I remember how meaningful it was to me and my youth group growing up,” Allie said. “It also was a way to help students make the youth group more their own. I am looking forward to getting to know these kids more. It will be fun seeing the band members grow as musicians and in their own walks with God.”
Band members hope using their gifts in this way will bring unity to the group and increase participation.
“I thought the night went pretty good for the first time,” said drummer Tyson Reimer. “I like how the group looked more engaged in the worship. It seemed like it was more meaningful to the overall group and it was a blast.”
“Having a student worship band is just a great way to worship and I think it gets people more involved and connected,” said vocalist Chloe Pankratz said.
The band hopes to play at least once every few weeks to get started and slowly grow their repertoire of songs. The first three songs learned were “Good Good Father,” “Grace on Top of Grace” and “Called Me Higher.”
—Sara Jo Waldron, youth pastor