Proclaiming the gospel through music
Vacation Bible School (VBS), or “summer camp”, is a ministry outreach churches provide to educate children about God. Each church runs its own VBS program, but may use a purchased religious curriculum in its teachings. And Kingdom Life Church is no exception to the VBS/summer camp experience that they do just a little differently with a free music camp offering.
At Kingdom Life Church, camp organizers seek to introduce children between the ages of five to 12 to musical instruments and the joy of music in a wholesome, Christian environment over the course of a week, according to Pastor Cedric Moss.
“We decided that we wanted to do a summer camp that was a bit different from the VBS that most children attend over the summer, and it’s not unusual for them to encounter the same curriculum at different churches, because you have providers of VBS curricula,” said Moss, the founding and senior pastor of Kingdom Life Church. “We wanted to do ‘different’. Our main goal is to proclaim the gospel to children and we are using the means of music to do that.”
The children will be exposed to basic instruments – keyboard, guitar, drums (set, base, Congo) and the ukulele, a four-string guitar.
Space is limited to 125 children for the camp that will take place July 15-19 at Kingdom Life Church, 25 Chesapeake Road, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily and will be taught by Bahamian and American volunteers.
Each day the camp opens with an assembly and exposes the children to age-appropriate scripture, using drama and interactive skits. Throughout the remainder of the day, the children are engaged in different musical opportunities in terms of choir singing and exposure to the instruments in a rotation system, in groups.
Moss doesn’t expect the children to be proficient in an instrument by the end of the week, but simply hopes that the exposure allows them to take a liking to at least one.
He said music is an outlet and the camp is an opportunity to give children an advantage he regrets not taking in his young days.
“Our hope is to whet the appetite for music beyond singing – and maybe they would take a liking to the keyboard or the guitar and their parents can then enroll them in music classes, to pursue their interest.
“From a personal point of view, I would want children to have an opportunity that I had, but did not take advantage of and regret not taking advantage of,” said Moss.
He says he knows music lessons aren’t cheap, but that the world has changed so much to the point that people can find instruction online that’s free that he didn’t have in his youth. He also noted that the government has removed the duty on musical instruments, making them more accessible.
At the end of the week, camp participants will engage in a concert in which the recorder instrument will feature greatly, to allow family members to sample what their children have accomplished.
“The concert is wonderful, in [that] you get to see what the children have accomplished,” said Moss.
The music camp is conducted with a combination of volunteers – Bahamians, as well as 24 people from their sister churches in Sovereign Grace Churches in the United States, of which Kingdom Life Church is an affiliate.
Kingdom Life Church and Sovereign Grace Churches have as their statement of faith, that they summarize as evangelical, reformed and charismatic. Moss is a graduate of Sovereign Grace Pastors College, Louisville, Kentucky, and has a passion to see the church reformed to function in a biblical role as salt and light, and for the influence of Christ and his kingdom to be extended to the ends of the earth.
“Each year, our expectations for camp are exceeded,” said Moss. “Our desire is for the camp to reach out to children beyond our local church, and each year the number of non-Kingdom Life Church children attending has increased. This year, in addition to the typical instruments, we are introducing the ukulele which campers will learn rather quickly and start playing songs which will be performed at the closing concert on the last evening of the camp.”
The camp is free to all children, which includes a t-shirt, a healthy lunch and snacks.
Registration for the music camp may be done online at www.kingdom-life.org or at Kingdom Life Church’s office, 25 Chesapeake Road, telephone 393-8262.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.