Located in the heart of the DFW Metroplex, Younger Generation Church [YG] is the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church [Texas]. In addition to young adults leading a weekly worship experience on their campus, YG has cast a vision to “overflow Jesus Christ beyond their four walls—blessing the community, transforming the world.”
This summer two of YG’s worship leaders—Melody Mendez, a junior at Burton Adventist Academy; and Princess Demiar, a recent graduate from Southwestern Adventist University—were part of YG worship teams ministering for North American Division youth events, camp meetings, and summer camps. Dr. Allan Martin, teaching pastor at YG, recently interviewed them for Best Practices For Adventist Worship’s blog:
Allan: It seems like it would be really critical for young worship leaders to listen to God. . . to hear His heart. Just curious, if I may ask, what has God been impressing on your heart as of late?
Melody: Trusting Him. That is something I’ve felt strongly about recently. Not being worried about the past or the future and what is to come, just putting it all in His hands, and not letting my senses get in front of His working.
Princess: Faith has been a big theme of my life lately. As a worship leader, leading a song gets difficult at times. . . No matter how high or low my spirit is during worship—I know and believe that God can move through us. . . There are times that I can’t fully grasp the magnitude of what I’m singing. . . that’s when my faith comes in.
Melody: Having faith that God can overcome whatever it is that we are dealing with. I really relate to the verse, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who’ll keep you on track.” [Proverbs 3:5-6]
Allan: When do you feel most in need of faith? In need of trust?
Melody: My friend Ian was recently talking about being ashamed of our weakness—this shame makes us run to other things, to make up excuses—it keep us away from God. I feel that those are the times that are faith is tested the most, but they are also the times when we are most vulnerable, and in those times we get the most real with God. . . And at the end of the day that’s all He wants. . . For us to be real with Him.
Princess: Even though I am not worthy—even though I’m broken—God gives us the opportunity to minister to other broken people who are just like us. I want to show people that they are already changed through Jesus Christ and that they are still changing. When they realize that they are being transformed, they can show it to their peers and keep the change going: Love and acceptance from God to me. . . to them. . . to their peers.
Melody: Our YG Worship Team has been sharing this verse that I feel is on point, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness so that Christ's power may rest in me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9]
Allan: You all have had a full summer; First, leading worship for the Just Claim It Prayer Conference in California, then touring a variety of camp meetings and summer camps in the Southwest, now back to North Texas ministering at Younger Generation Church. What would you say you’ve gleaned from your travels this summer?
Princess: God can move through young hearts and that's what I’ve been seeing here at Camp Yavapines everyday. I’ve been blessed with all these opportunities to minister to youth & young adults and I am just in awe of what God has been doing for me and for all these young people this summer.
Melody: I feel that God really revealed to me the reason that I do what I do as a worship leader. It’s not only about giving young people an amazing worship experience, but it’s also about talking with them, getting to know them—through relationships connecting them with God. We’re here to help them desire a relationship with Him, and the Spirit will do the rest.
Allan: One last question, what is a song that is really resonating with you currently?
Princess: I’ve been falling in love with Hillsong Worship’s Transfiguration. I love the part in the song where it says:
I am changed
As I look upon the Lord and believe
Melody: Hillsong United’s Prince of Peace. It’s the chorus that I love:
Your love surrounds me
When my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror
There Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow
God I know Your light will meet me there
No matter what it is that we are struggling with or worrying about, He will meet us where we are.