As a way to have more youth involvement with the spiritual programming at Methodist Children’s Home (MCH), the Spiritual Development team recently held auditions for the MCH Praise Team. More than 35 students auditioned for the roles, the most MCH has had in more than 13 years.
Open positions included instrumentals, tech, spoken word/rap/poetry, dramatic scripture reading, vocals, dance, and worship choir. The wealth of talent at MCH is so great that some students auditioned for more than one role.
Auditioning students had to interview and be prepared to answer why they wanted to be a part of praise team and what they hoped praise team would add to MCH chapel worship.
Additionally, instrumentalists needed to be prepared to play one of two specified songs, vocalists and Worship Choir needed to be prepared to perform one of two specified songs while rap/spoken word/poetry needed to be prepared with a short poem or verse about any aspect of prayer that was real and meaningful to them. For dance auditions, praise dancers were taught a short dance and performed two given options.
“I knew we had talented students so I was not surprised by the auditions,” said Kimberly Clark, director of spiritual development. “However, I was blown away by the interviews! We have some students who are raw, honest and rich in faith. We made a point this year to look for students that were really interested in growing in faith; students who understood the purpose of worship and who were willing to take on leadership inside and outside of worship.”
Clark, along with the other three members of the Spiritual Development team, said that they had to make some very tough decisions this year.
“We did not accept many talented students because they were not ready spiritually,” she said. “It is not about being seen and heard but pointing the congregation to the ONE who knows and loves them.”
Overall, Clark said the Spiritual Development team is excited about cultivating a group of leaders that want to effect a positive change in the MCH community.
“Students want to do what is right and we think we are working toward creating a peer culture that encourages good choices instead of drama and judgement,” said Clark, speaking on behalf of the Spiritual Development team. “We are also excited to see students participate that we never imagined would want to be part of Praise Team.”
Rehearsals for each element of the Praise Team started in September and will soon be integrated into Sunday worship services.