“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” -Gustav Flaubert
First, students at Maranatha have many different opportunities to push themselves to learn outside of the classroom. These opportunities range anywhere from the Ranger Challenge, interning in the state capital in Madison, teaching in our music prep school, or traveling with any of our groups.
For those who choose to participate, possibly one of the most beloved opportunities Maranatha has to offer would be traveling on a music group tour.
At Maranatha, students have opportunities to travel with one of the choirs, the band, orchestra, percussion group, or several smaller groups. These trips provide an amazing platform for students at MBU to experience what Maranatha is all about: the local church, ministry, leadership, and creating lasting memories.
While on tour, one of the most eye-opening things that students mention is experiencing the many different types of local churches across the United States. While these churches share the same God and same beliefs, it is amazing to see how different churches operate. This can be an amazing learning experience for many students who grew up in a smaller community or only being involved in one church.
The main focus of our musical tours is definitely ministry. The point of the tour itself is to minister to local churches through music or whatever the group is doing. Whether that be when the group is singing or playing or whether that be when the students get the opportunity to stay in a church-members house. As the phrase goes, “Life is ministry, ministry is global.”
Second, leadership is a huge part of music group tours. Leaders emerge on these tours that might not emerge otherwise. In these smaller groups, students are able to influence people in ways they themselves never thought possible. Tours are stretching ordeals that sometimes can reveal the nature of students as the tour goes on. This is also true of the leaders in the group, though. As time goes on, these leaders emerge as positive lights to the rest of the choir to keep going. Leaders often don’t shine when the spotlight is on the choir, but when the complaining starts on the bus.
Finally, and probably the most unanimous among those who you talk to about tours, tours produce friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. There is no way to explain the comradery that you feel with someone after spending a week and a half with them on a bus. You can only experience it for yourself, but student after student will tell you that the friendships that often last the longest came from tours at Maranatha.
While only a small part of the opportunities Maranatha has to offer that pushes its students outside of the class, those who participate rarely regret it.