My name is Valerie, and I am the school leader for the School of Worship (SOW) at YWAM Maui. I have been leading worship since I was in high school, just after beginning my walk with the Lord. I came to do DTS here in Maui in 2013 and a secondary school the following year. When I was leaving my secondary school to go back home, I had a deep desire to return for the SOW here in Maui but it was a dormant school at this base. I still said that I would be back for the first SOW whenever they began running it again.
Fast forward to 2020, my life was much different from the nineteen year old who had yearned to do SOW. I had gotten married, had a child, joined staff at YWAM Maui, and was pregnant with our second when SOW was re-pioneered at our base in Maui. The Lord fulfilled what I had desired to do all those years ago and I was a student the first time the school ran.
I learned and grew in so many ways during my lecture phase- most importantly in my understanding of how we worship! Worship is not something that you can do only when you have time to sing or only in a certain setting; worship can be done any time and in any setting. Worship can be when I am singing at church or when I am folding laundry. It can be when I have a quiet space to focus on Jesus or when I am chasing my toddler around the house. Worship is not something you have to wait for – it is something you have to choose to practice every day. Jesus is deserving of our praise and adoration at all times not only when the setting is conducive for us. It is my hope that students who come through the SOW here at YWAM Maui would leave more equipped to give God glory at all times.
School of Worship (SOW) is focused on teaching not only the basis for why we worship God but also equipping students with the skills to do so. At YWAM Maui, our SOW has a particular emphasis on worship as a lifestyle. “Worship as a lifestyle” means that worshiping God is not confined to worshiping only once or twice a week at our church gatherings. Nor is it only for those who are musical. Worshiping God is something that we can all do all the time. Not all of us will be congregational worship leaders in our lives but we will all, at some point in our lives, be either children, parents, employees, spouses, mentors, or neighbors and the list goes on. We have the opportunity to give glory to God in all that we do (1 Corinthians 10:31), whether it is mundane tasks or leading hundreds of people in worship. That is why we focus much of our teaching on living a life of worship. However, we do also want to equip those who are going to be worship leaders! In our hands-on segments we focus on musical skills, band dynamics, song writing, and forming set lists with Jesus as the center. It is our hope that students who complete this SOW would be competent worship leaders while having a broader foundation of worship woven into their day to day lives.
Our next SOW is April 19 – September 9, 2022!
Join us by filling out the application at https://ywammaui.com/pages/school-of-worship