Adam Caciano, a St. Louis native and senior at Kirkwood High School, does not yet know what God has in store for his future. But Adam is working for the Lord now as a member of a youth-led worship planning team. Led by their DCE, Jeremy Becker, the youth at Concordia Lutheran Church have been constructing worship services for several months. Read more to find out how it all began.
It all started on a fencepost under the stars of Arizona.
Some of the youth of our church went on a Servant Event to Rock Point, AZ, to start a VBS camp at a Navajo mission. After a long day of playing with the local children and helping with construction projects in the area, my friend Aaron Hohle and I lay on a fencepost on the edge of the mission and gazed at the stars. It was on that night that God put an idea into our minds and hearts. We had the idea to start a new worship service at our church.
The service we envisioned was more of a contemporary service, but the different part was that the youth of our church would lead the worship. The youth would plan the service, read Scripture, and play music. We wanted to try to present God’s Word in new or creative ways.
Once we got home, we brought the idea to our youth leader, Jeremy Becker, to get his input. He thought it was great and said that he would talk to with Pastor Gundermann to see if he could find a service for us to work on. Pastor found room for a service on Sunday night, and gave his encouragement. We asked for help from the youth in planning and running the service. The youth really stepped up to the plate. Our planning group came up with an idea, put it into action, and the rest is history. We have been doing our youth-led worship services ever since.
Many of our original ideas remain in our youth-led worship services: numerous skits, creative confessions and absolutions, and other various ideas.
Do not think everything was smooth sailing. Our group often scrambled to get everything ready before the service began. This rush was most likely due to our lack of experience in planning a worship service. Over time, we have gotten better as we learn how much we are able to accomplish. Now, we plan our time better and get more done.
We also encountered the problem of getting off-task in our planning team meetings. The team of about 8 to 10 youth, most of us all friends, often had a hard time staying on focus throughout the meeting. Jeremy Becker, Aaron Hohle, Scott Beckmeyer, and I talked about how to solve this problem. We concluded that reducing the number of people on the planning committee would help with the focus problem.
Overall, being involved in church has made me the person I am today. Service planning is a process that I do not think any one person can master, but it is good to work together to bring glory to God’s name. I encourage all of you to go into whatever field you feel like God is calling you to, but working in the church has been a very gratifying experience for me.