Partner in Mission (identity magazine)

Beka Nadgwick (right) with Lauren Krause (left).
This article is from our Fall 2022 issue of Identity Magazine, a CLB resource for teens and young adults.
I do not think it would be a stretch to say that Lauren is one of the most talented worship leaders I have ever had the fortune of worshiping with. As she is blessing Word of Life Church here in Le Sueur and in New Prague, MN with her leadership, musical talents, and gentle worship style, Lauren has become a key part of the worship culture in our church, at only 15 years old. And that is no accident.

Recently coming on staff as Worship Director, I have had the privilege of watching Lauren bloom, and saying, “Yes, absolutely,” to her “Can I please…?” questions. Having started around the same age she did and now being around my 10-year mark as a worship leader, I view it as a gift to say yes to Lauren and give her the tools to lead in our church. God clearly works in and through her every single time she picks up her guitar. It is clear by how smooth the services are, how well the songs are suited, and how unified her teams are, that Lauren follows the heart of the Lord in all she does.

Lauren has been raised up as a follower of Jesus here, and now is a leader here. She is a student leader and a congregational leader, a teenager chasing after God’s heart and bringing others with her. I almost can’t believe she only picked up the guitar five years ago. Doug Lang started casual guitar lessons with a few girls, including Lauren. They got together and learned new guitar chords and strumming patterns for worship songs. Doug told me he saw what a hard worker Lauren was when he told her to “practice as much as you want to be good.” Lauren’s skills skyrocketed, as she began practicing for hours and hours.

Continuing the process of discipling, Eric Smith then took up the lessons, even asking Lauren and the others to lead worship during youth group, intentionally pushing them to the next step. Eric described his role using the word “encouragement!” He said, “Lauren enjoys playing guitar, but knowing that she was wanted, appreciated, and making an impact helped her to continue growing.”

The people surrounding Lauren are constantly uplifting her, praying for her, and telling her what she’s doing—leading them to God in worship. This makes a huge difference in growth, and it also overflows. Lauren is encouraged by others, and in turn leads worship to encourage others.

As the girls became more consistent players on Sunday mornings, Lauren was mentored by Jared and Joanna Ronningen, playing guitar on their team frequently. When I asked Joanna about the process, she said that when the time was right, “She took over very gracefully and confidently. She gets more confident as she leads more.” Lauren continues to lead on Sundays, playing in the band almost every week, leading Word of Life to the Lord in worship. She is unafraid in the face of the tasks God has set before her.

In 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV), Paul is emboldening Timothy when he says, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.” Lauren has humbly and openly accepted encouragement from those around her as they fan into flame her gifts from God. She continues to use those gifts to bring glory to God and bless his children, especially me. The beautiful work of God in Lauren, having been paired with her hard work, love for music, and willingness to go where God is leading, has been a great blessing to the Word of Life community. I am so thankful for Lauren. Praise God for his good gifts!

BEKA NADGWICK serves as Director of Youth and Worship Ministries at Word of Life Church, Le Sueur, MN.
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