Last year we felt God calling Thrive to increase our work with churches specifically in two areas: to better equip churches for outreach and evangelism (hence the creation of our Youth Mission Enablers project) and to raise up more worshippers. For the latter, we created the Thrive Worship Team.
Enabling young people to engage with God has always been an important focus for Thrive since we started in 2011. We have times of worship at our youth events and weekends away, as well as starting a children’s worship event, Thrive Juniors. At these events we enable a team of teenage musicians to lead the worship singing.
The vision for the Thrive Worship Team was to expand our pool of musicians, to gather together to teach musical skills and how to play well together, as well as to explore why we worship, how to lead others into God’s presence and what we are trying to actually do.
A church gave us a grant to purchase a drum kit. A local band donated their PA system to us on permanent loan and a stranger, hearing of the project, donated an acoustic guitar. We felt sure that this was something God wanted us to do.
Andy Castle recruited three youth leaders to help him lead the project. All three lead worship in their home churches. On top of that, Mark Lloyd is a professional music teacher and session musician, Jon Mills heads up Coventry Youth For Christ and goes into secondary schools where he runs ‘Rock up’ band projects and is in a local brass band, and Lou Thomas who is the youth worker at St Michael’s Budbrooke. A fantastic team!
We launched in December 2019 and have held several gatherings since, aiming for one every half term. Whilst numbers have been small, we have experienced great moments of worship as well as getting to know different young people from across the area.
Already it has helped us better prepare for the worship at Basecamp and introduced us to some new musicians who were going to lead worship at Thrive Juniors in March, although this sadly had to be cancelled due to the current pandemic.
Our hope is that as word spreads, more young people will want to get involved, to grow in their musical skills, to get to know other Christian young people in the area and, ultimately, to grow in their love and worship of Jesus.
Currently we are not able to gather together for these times of worship but we look forward to a time soon when we will be able to continue to meet together to worship and to develop the Thrive Worship Team.