Raising up the next generation of worship leaders, Pt. 1.
By Jeremy Hutson
There are two primary ways to actively encourage growth in a church: from the outside, and from within. Both are effective and necessary. Both require significant resources, dedication, and time. Both involve a short and long-term plan.
Churches have historically been a place where people not only learn about God and His Word, but also to appreciate and understand music. Music is a gift from God. He created and organized it. He made it a form of artistic communication that is personal and social (congregational). It is both scientific and creative. He gave human beings the ability to hear music, to understand it, to grow in our knowledge of how music works, what can be done with it, and what it means to us. And, for Christians, He prescribes it as one of the ways we are to worship Him.
There are vast references to music in the Bible. We know that it was actively used in Worship services. Gifted musicians are noted in many passages.
Music, in general, is one of the most personal, controversial, and often opinionated elements of a person's life. Very few people can graciously accept criticism about their music. It's usually a matter of either “I like what I know” or “I know what I like”. The other side of this can be “I don't like what I don't know” or “I know what I don't like”. When it comes to music in Worship, this can be even more true.
In the church, understanding and peaceful acceptance of the music we sing requires both knowledge and wisdom. Both come from God; but of the two, wisdom is likely the more difficult to teach. Paul writes in Romans 12 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” James tells us “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
I'll save further discussion on music in Worship for another time... (on to part 2)
Raising up the next generation of worship leaders, Pt. 2.
(Guitar Lesson Ministry promo)
By Jeremy Hutson
Part of the job of any leader is to raise up others, to enable them to give what they have to offer, even to help them become the best they can be at something. One of my great desires and privileges as a professional has been to teach music, particularly to young people (specifically children and youth). We have a tremendous opportunity here at Highland UMC to do that. We have already seen participation from current and former youth in our Praise Team. What a great blessing! Seeing the youth and children involved in our Worship services has also been a blessing. Yes, a lot has changed, but God maintains His people. He never gives us more than we can handle. He loves His people and wants us to grow in Him.
I would love to see others from within the church join in leading our Worship. And some day, I hope see others filling in as Worship leader from time to time, singing and playing the guitar.
With Josh Ray's assistance, I have formed a Summer Guitar Lesson ministry. At first, this is being offered to the Middle School and High School youth. In time, I have a goal of expanding this ministry to adult members, and eventually using this as an outreach ministry to the community.
Our Summer Guitar Lessons starts this coming Wednesday, July 5 (5:30-6:15) for Middle School, and Sunday, July 9 (3:00-3:45) for High School. Both will be held in B1/B2. The cost is only $50, and will support the Worship budget. Please contact Jeremy by email at email@example.com, by phone, or even Facebook, if you are interested.
To God be the glory,
Jeremy D. Hutson, Worship Director
There exists so many possibilities for music ministry here at HUMC, and one of our goals in the process of developing that ministry is to include more people – children, youth, and adults, of various ability levels – in our worship and in programs outside of worship. I also wish to include a wide variety of styles, which can range from classical music and hymns, to folk and Celtic music, all the way to current contemporary arrangements for a full band. Please contact Jeremy preferably by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (402) 205-2742.
To get specific:
The praise team can change shape depending on the music we do; in other words, we would love to include other instruments. That can change depending on what music we are doing. There are times when a flute or violin might be nice, for instance.
Developing a youth praise team is a major priority for both Josh and I, and would also be a tremendous asset to our youth program here.
It would be wonderful to start a children's choir, something my wife Annette and I developed and led at our previous church.; and I would love to see an adult choir form.
I would love for more people, both instrumentalists and singers, to be involved in special music, offertory, prelude, and postlude.
In order to prepare people to serve in the music ministry, I would love to see a music lesson ministry begin here. We have the room for it, and I think there would be a high level of interest. Think about something cool like the “School of Christian Rock”. Fun, right? Other styles, too, of course.
Lastly, I have been approached by multiple people regarding the drama program which was once strong here. My wife Annette would be a very capable leader, and together (and with the help of those who are served in the past), we could revive that wonderful ministry opportunity.
One goal is to prepare for the major church calendar events, Easter and Christmas. Newer groups could prepare for those, along with the praise team and individuals.
As noted above, please contact Jeremy preferably by email at email@example.com or at (402) 205-2742.
Thank you, and “In all things, Christ preeminent”
"The Staff Parish Relations Committee search team is pleased to announce the hiring of Jeremy Hutson as our new full-time Worship Director. Jeremy will have responsibilities over the worship planning and music program of HUMC. He will also be working to engage youth and children in music. We warmly welcome Jeremy, wife Annette and two girls, Faith and Sophia and pray God's blessing upon them. His start day will be January 2. Jeremy introduces himself in the attached letter. Merry Christmas everyone!"
A warm and joyful greeting to all of you here at Highland United Methodist Church!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and our God in the ministry of music.
Music is a gift that God created and gave to all of us. We celebrate and worship both corporately and individually through our music in the singing of hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs.
My wife Annette, our two girls Faith (6 ½) and Sophia (5), and I have lived in south of Fenton for the past 2 ½ years. We moved here from Nebraska to help care for my father-in-law and be caretakers of the family homestead. In God’s providence, James passed away the day we arrived, and we rest in the comforting promise that he is restored and in Heaven. Annette was working for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (which is why we moved there, away from my hometown in Pennsylvania), and I was teaching at a college, giving private lessons, and doing the stay-at-home dad thing when I wasn’t teaching. We attended Faith Orthodox Presbyterian, where we both sang in the choir, and I directed and was head of the Music Committee for many years.
We moved to Michigan on faith alone, and with no job prospect. I began working in the insurance industry after a few months. Again, in God’s obvious providence, I was injured in a car accident in March of 2015. The rehab lasted until October of 2016. In that time, I began to hear more clearly a call to music ministry that had begun about 20 years ago at a Christian conference.
A little back story/bio: Both Annette and I graduated from Covenant College; it took me (ahem...) 14 years to marry her. After college, Annette returned home to Fenton for a while, and began to pursue her career. I began graduate studies in music, and started building a teaching and performance career. I have been blessed to serve on the faculties of The Lancaster Conservatory of Music, The Csehy Summer School of Music, Philadelphia Biblical University, The Pennington School, and Southeast Community College. Even more importantly to me, I had built a music studio that began in the basement, and eventually became a thriving, full-time music lesson and recording studio. I love doing recording work, by the way, both as a musician and as producer/engineer. In addition to performing solo, in 1998 The Pedrick-Hutson Guitar Duo was formed with one of my grad school colleagues. We toured and recorded 3 albums, which can still be heard on public radio worldwide. There were the various college bands (with embarrassing names... ask my wife!), loads of student recitals (which I loved to produce, and give these students a chance to do their thing in front of an audience), a fun variety of musicals, and other performance groups my favorite of which was an Irish house band at a fantastic restaurant in Beatrice, NE (if you ever happen to be in the area).
It’s all about Romans 8:28, really. God does work all things for the good those who love Him. And, we rest in the faith of the saving grace of His son’s sacrifice and the work of the Holy Spirit in us to both love and follow Him, and to follow His call for our lives. His direction and timing may not always coincide directly with our plans. But His way is better, and we grow through the trials. I am so thankful for the previous experience I have had in music ministry, but even more so for the ability to dedicate my life to the work of God in His church and in music.
I want to get to know you and create lasting relationships. Please do not hesitate to reach out. I desire your input and your participation. There are so many great possibilities for our music ministry in worship, with youth and children, and as outreach and evangelism. We will connect, grow, and serve together, here within the church, and in our communities, work, school, etc. What a blessing it will be!
Praise the Lord!