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Quest: A search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something.

Have you ever been to a piano recital? Some students are brilliant, some are difficult to listen to; but at the end of every song, the parents applaud wildly as if they have just heard the world’s greatest pianist. Why? Because they are there, not to be engaged by the music, but to support and celebrate the hard work of their children.

Months of practice and lessons have led the family to the recital. Yet, the recital is only a celebration of the student’s most recent accomplishments and a demonstration of the student’s newly acquired skills. The recital is not the goal. The goal of the practice and lessons is a lifetime skill allowing for the on-going enjoyment of music. The recital is just a temporary target along the journey toward accomplishing this goal.

How does a teacher prepare for a recital?

1)Set unrealistic goals. 2)Expect failure 3)Model success 4)Celebrate progress

Setting Unrealistic Goals

A good teacher will choose recital songs which initially seem impossible. After hours of frustration, figuring out new combinations of notes and sometimes awkward timing, slowly the piece begins to sound like music. Eventually, practice becomes about finger muscle memory as the piece has been mastered and is now being memorized. Finally, at the recital, all are made aware that the student has mastered a higher level of piano artistry, one that several months ago seemed out of reach.

Expecting Failure

Perfection doesn’t happen immediately. Every student will fail repeatedly before they succeed. Every good teacher understands this. Reminding students that failure is part of the process minimizes frustration and seizes opportunities for growth. Students who are willing to see their shortcomings can fix them, and in the end eliminate them.

Modeling Success

Often students cannot properly understand or play a piece until they’ve heard someone else play it. By playing a song herself, a teacher can demonstrate success to the student. Having heard and seen the proper performance, the student can now evaluate himself against the proper outcome. Sometimes, a teacher may have to play the song several times until the student reaches a point where they have become “like the teacher�.

Celebrating Success

Ultimately, success is a lifetime of piano mastery. The short-term measurement of success is a well-played recital piece. But even before the recital, students achieve many small successes. The first time a piece is completed without stopping and the first time a piece is completed without mistake are successes. When the student practices the prescribed number of times, she is successful. Good teachers find every opportunity to celebrate their student’s success.

first practice Until the final recital

From the

A student’s “piano-journey� is a type of

Quest. A search or pursuit made in order to find or obtain something.

It is a pursuit made in order to obtain a life-long skill.

Using the same principles as a piano recital, you can participate in a

Quest with your LIFEGroup This fall. Beginning in September: You can set goals together Throughout the Fall: You can model success for each other And Encourage each other after missteps Finally in December: You can celebrate successes together


The Quest With your LIFEGroup

Set individual and group goals for spiritual growth. Regularly Check-up on each another’s progress. Encourage and assist each other toward the accomplishment of the goals. Celebrate each other’s successes.

Set individual and group goals for spiritual growth. Use your first group meeting of the fall to discuss what each person might like to see accomplished in their life over the next few months. Have each group member identify areas in their life that need work and then set a tentative goal. Encourage each group member to spend time in prayer regarding their goal. At your next meeting, take time to confirm each person’s goal and covenant with one another to consistently pray for each person’s success.

Regularly check up on each other’s progress. Use time each week to allow group members to give progress reports. Remember, some failures are to be expected. Encourage group members to be honest sharing their shortcomings so that they can be encouraged and prayed for. Remind group members to also check up on one another during the week. Sharing life together requires more time than just a weekly meeting!

Encourage and assist each other toward the accomplishment of the goals. The beauty of a group is that a multitude of perspectives and gifts provides an ideal environment for spiritual growth. As group members work toward their goals, they may need encouragement or advice. Your group is the perfect place for that to happen. Remind your group members that they will all be more successful if they all agree to build into one another’s lives. Take time regularly for encouraging and advising.

Regularly check up on each other’s progress. As group members reach their goals, or perhaps take significant steps toward them, celebrate. Celebration might mean you congratulate them, give them a gift, or bring a snack to your meeting. When the quest is complete, set aside a time for a “giant celebration”. Celebrate each group members accomplishments. (if some don’t reach their goal, celebrate their progress) Nothing will motivate people toward continued success more than the knowledge that many people are deeply invested in their success. Celebrations confirm this investment.

For more information about Quests or LIFEGroups at Calvary, contact Pastor David Rudd. 231.865.1259

The Quest  
The Quest  

A model of small group discipleship based on the concept of a quest.