(In view of Gethsemane Youth Choir’s 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on 9th July 2023.)
The church consists of children, youths, adults and old folks. Hence, the New Testament specifically addressed the children and youths in the early churches to instruct them on their conduct and service (e.g. Eph. 6:1-3; 1 Tim. 5:1-2; 2 Tim 2:22; Titus 2:4-6; 1 Pet 5:5; 1 John 2:13-14). The participation and involvement of all believing youths in the church’s life and ministry, according to the biblical guidelines, is assumed in the New Testament. The youths’ ecclesiastical commitment to the worship and service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ should always be considered a vital matter by every biblical church.
Redeemed young people have always been expected to be part of the congregational worship of God – “Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven” (Ps 148:12-13). Every believing youth should praise the Lord with exuberant joy. The church’s young people must give of their best to their Redeemer and Master in worship and service. Let their youthful days of strength and beauty be dedicated to the praise of their Creator and Saviour.
Christian youths of the early church were encouraged to function in all aspects of the church ministry, according to each one’s giftedness and maturity, with the highest spiritual integrity, dedication and courage. For example, the apostle Paul told Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). May all our young people rise in love and zeal for their Lord Jesus Christ, like some of the renowned young saints of old time – Joseph, David, Daniel, Obadiah, Josiah, Timothy, the four daughters of Philip the evangelist, among others.
The purpose of the church choirs, including the youth choir, is not to celebrate the music / singing abilities of members, but the glory of our God, His truths and His works. Church choirs sing not merely for the pleasure of man’s ears, but that the Lord Jesus Christ be exalted in the ears of every hearer. Otherwise, our singing, though it pleases man, would be a total affront to God. Therefore, the rendition of songs in a God-honouring manner would mean much more than their melodious presentation.
Surely, much effort has been made to practise the songs and be ready for tonight’s song presentation. Nonetheless, our youths have been constantly reminded during their fellowship meetings and through frequent exhortations and admonitions, that their hearts must be clean and always dedicated to pleasing the Lord. We thank God for every one of the youths in our church who seek to honour the Lord with their lives and service.
God cannot be pleased with the music of the hypocrites who present external rendering of worship without a godly spirit. Through Amos the prophet, the LORD declared, “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols” (Amos 5:23). May our songs be from genuine hearts of humility, repentance, faith, and reverence for our God.
Brethren, let us come together with our friends this evening, and join our youths to praise the saving name of our Redeemer and Lord! May the LORD bless our youths as they sing, that they may say all the days of their lives: “For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD: thou art my trust from my youth” (Psalm 71:5).