Engaging the Next Generation through worship discipleship 

Arkansas Baptists have just finished a season of summer ministry through the offering of several children and student camps. Among these camps were JoyWorks and PraiseWorks. These worship arts camps have become powerful equipping tools for the state as children and students are discipled as the next generation of worshipers and worship leaders. 

This year we celebrated 70 years of ministry through PraiseWorks and JoyWorks. Many churches have been impacted through these camps as students and children have had the opportunity to be trained and equipped by some of the state’s best teachers and musicians in areas of the student’s interest. The PraiseWorks and JoyWorks discipleship model has been adopted by many churches and implemented through the church’s ministry as an ongoing worship discipleship tool. It is encouraging to see individual churches joining us as we strive to equip this next generation. 

Through the years, many of these students have been called to follow the Lord in vocational ministry and are now serving in worship ministries throughout our state and country. Students who were introduced to a new area of ministry as children have progressed through JoyWorks to PraiseWorks and have become excellent instrumentalists, vocalists, or found their place of service in multi-media, sign language, drama, dance, and the list goes on and on. 

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The camp is dependent on the many volunteers who give of their time and talent to teach students for a week during the summer. Most of these volunteers are worship leaders from our Arkansas Baptist churches. Others are volunteers who serve their local churches in some form of worship ministry. They give up a week of vacation to pay their own way to invest in the lives of students. They do this because they have a great love for the Lord, a desire to invest in children and students in worship ministry discipleship, and a realization that these students will be the leaders of our churches in the coming years. 

The Lord heard and answered many prayers concerning this summer’s PraiseWorks and JoyWorks worship arts camp. The camps were held simultaneously on the campus of Ouachita Baptist University, July 11-15. This was the first year back since 2019, and it was a great week of investment in and equipping of over 660 campers from over 50 different Arkansas Baptist churches. Four students returned decision cards indicating they had placed their faith in Christ for salvation. Thirty-six students met for an “Explore Your Call” luncheon, joined later by fifteen more students expressing a commitment to vocational ministry. Forty-four other decisions were recorded during the week, bringing the total to ninety-nine decisions for the week. 

Thank you for your participation in these worship arts camps through the years. Our prayer continues to be that the Lord would use these camps to impact our churches through biblical worship leading and our communities through the powerful proclamation of the Gospel. If you have not been a part of these camps in the past, we would like to invite you to join us in the summer of 2023. The dates for next year’s camp are Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14. Join us in the equipping of the next generation of worshipers and worship leaders and let’s prayerfully anticipate a great work of the Lord through this ministry. 

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