PraizFest serves as weekend of discipleship, investment in next generation

BENTON, Ark. – More than 100 students gathered at First Baptist Church in Benton this past weekend, Jan. 27-28, for PraizFest 2023.  

Arkansas Baptist State Convention Worship Consultant Jim Daniel said they had 111 students enrolled in PraizFest with a total attendance of 184, counting the orchestra and adults.  

The students, who represented Arkansas Baptist churches from across the state, got to enjoy times of worship, sing in a mass choir, and deliver a concert under the direction of John Bolin, a worship pastor and arranger from Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, Texas.   

Additionally, students heard the gospel from University of Arkansas Baptist Collegiate Minister Ryan Scantling and were led in worship by Caleb Reynolds, worship leader at First Baptist Church in Dover.   

Daniel described the overall atmosphere of PraizFest as “exciting.” He said the weekend gives students a chance to sing in a mass choir, something they may never have the opportunity to do in their own context. The students can then take what they learned and implement it and continue to use those gifts and talents for the Lord.  

“That is ultimately our purpose and goal,” Daniel said.  

While the students were at rehearsal, Daniel spent time with the adults and talked with them about how they could further disciple the students, grow the gifts and the talents that they have and implement that in the ministries of their local churches.  

“It’s just a very tight, packed, fun weekend of discipleship and equipping,” Daniel said.  

PraizFest, which has a three-pronged approach of worship discipleship, equipping and sending, is an investment in the next generation. It is not just for churches that have student choirs, but also for churches that simply have students who like to sing.  

“The purpose is discipleship and equipping. That can be done with one student or several students,” Daniel said. “It’s a worship discipleship weekend.” 

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