Worship Arts


ImagePatrick Clayborn has been a professor at Drew Theological School in 2011. He is ordained as an Itinerant Elder in the Ohio Annual Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Patrick previously served as Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and as a pulpit associate at St. James AME Church in Newark, NJ. Dr. Clayborn is a member of the American Academy of Religion and the Academy of Homiletics.

Designing Worship that Connects with the Unchurched: 

How can we make our worship services say “whosoever will let them come”? How do we create an environment that is inviting to those who have little or no connection to church? How do we take our worship to those who have no desire to come to our churches? How can such liturgies be sustained, particularly by churches with few resources? These are the questions that this workshop seeks to address. The aim will be to explore methods for planning, enriching, and maintaining worship services so that seekers find them welcoming.

Preaching and Spirituality: 

This workshop focuses on the essentials of Christian spirituality within the preaching vocation. The history and theology of the connection between spirituality and preaching; how biblical exegesis for preaching impacts and is impacted by spirituality; and ways in which spirituality shapes and is shaped by homiletical style, design, form and diversity are components that will be introduced. These concepts will be explored through various interactive activities.

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Finding and Using Music Resources for Contemporary Worship: Dana Scott

Do you often find yourself asking questions like how do I program music for a Contemporary service when I have a fixed budget? How do I build a consistent worship team when I cannot hire professional musicians? How can our evolving electronic world work for my music ministry?

The goal of this workshop is to empower you in your ministry. This session will address the unique challenges of creating a meaningful worship experience as you negotiate questions like those above. With a little creativity and innovation, you can overcome these struggles. Join us, and let’s get started!

 

Dana Scott

Dana Nichole Scott has worked for several years as a Music Minister.  She currently serves as the Accompanist and Praise Band Director for Emmanuel UMC in Laurel. As a pastor’s daughter, Dana was involved in music ministry in church from a young age. She attended two prestigious schools of music and honed her skills.

She teaches piano at the Saint James School in Hagerstown, Maryland and has additional students at Emmanuel UMC. She also enjoys accompanying the All Children’s Chorus of Annapolis, Arundel Vocal Arts Society, and on occasion the Maryland State Boys’ Choir.  Her clientele also includes: St. Agnes School, Landsdown High School, Loyola University, Loyola-Blakefield, Baltimore School of the Arts, Washington National Opera, and the University of Baltimore County. During her spare time, Dana directs productions in the area and finds time to give back to the community.

 

BY KATE THOMAS

Sundays have typically been the day of rest. Truthfully, most Christians today no longer take the day to give back to God. It’s about time we reclaimed this sacred day, not just for God, but in the spirit of Jesus’ teachings – to love unconditionally and spend time with those who are impoverished.  

Sunday is the perfect day to do a churchwide mission day at least once or twice a year for a few reasons:

1. People who attend church are already available.
2. It sets the tone for “church” to take place outside the church walls.
3. It provides connectedness with the entire church community in a way that could never be as widespread as Sunday morning.

How do we make this transition, you ask? It’s really quite simple once you realize your church probably already has the infrastructure to pull off a mission Sunday. You can harness some of the already existing groups (UMM, UMW, youth, Sunday School, small groups, mission team, church council, etc.) to each find a local mission project that church members can attend. Make sure to be specific about how many people you think might participate in each project, timing, directions, and choosing a team leader. Or this might be a time for anyone passionate about mission to shine. Either way, it’s helpful to have a team of people, each coordinating the details for the different projects.

Some other things to keep in mind:

1. Have a signup sheet for each project; two or three Sundays prior will help you predict your numbers.
2. Make sure to accommodate additional church members who will show up without signing up. Have projects that can take additional people or come up with additional projects that can have unlimited numbers.
3. Have a variety of projects for different ages, physical capabilities and interests.
4. Consider a gathering time before going out to serve. This could include a few upbeat songs and a prayer as well as a time for offering. The “sermon” will be your service to God.
5. Following the mission activities, it could be a great time for a church potluck, with some sharing time about the projects.
6. Set up for easy traffic flow at church. Make sure to have a meeting space for each of the projects before touching base for instructions and to carpool, and make sure to have details for those who haven’t signed up. This could be a bunch of tables in the fellowship hall with signs and descriptions as well as a handout at the door with all the projects. The short worship time before serving could take place in the same space.
7. Consider how your church can uniquely serve and Change the World in a meaningful way. Make this project your own.

Kate Thomas is senior productions coordinator for ACDI-VOCA and former graphic designer for the Baltimore Washington Conference

 I have been consulting with congregations and pastors for 20 years around their “worship wars”.  Very few weeks go by where I do not get questions about how to negotiate the introduction, financing, purpose, or function of an alternative service.  In mainline denominations the “traditional” service is usually the strongest service where the people who serve on all of the administrative committees have the power to open the doors or shut the doors to a new service prospering.

It is amazing how many church councils have a clear conscience in voting on a budget that provides the traditional service with a $25,000 budget and then they give the alternative service $5,000 to start up and sustain themselves.  The cycle has become quite predictable.  When the church leaders evaluate the new service for vitality they claim that there are not enough people, the level of ministry is not equal to the excellence that they currently experience in traditional worship is not reflected in the new service and “it is taking the pastor’s time away from concentrating on our service”. 

New services tend to reach new people who are not indoctrinated in our church centered world. They may not be instantly committed and often do not give significantly at the beginning.  New services are excellent opportunities to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who are far from God or have been hurt by the church in a casual, conversational and caring worship environment.  By eliminating the alternative service you are removing God’s children from the fountain of grace that should be flowing throughout the entire congregation.  

“The responsibility of the older, more mature members in starting a new worship service is to pray for it and pay for it”  Bill Easum  

He said this many years ago and now in my role as Guide, coach and consultant I understand the wisdom clearly.  It takes money to get a worship leader who can build, develop and disciple band members.  It takes finances to get the appropriate multimedia equipment and sound reinforcement.  It takes pray to strengthen the prodigals that are searching for God. The leaders, who are pursuing the vision of reaching the lost, left out and marginalized in your community need prayer for wisdom and guidance.  It takes finances to do community outreach and connect the church to the needs of people in the community.  If you expect the same excellence that is present in the established service, you have to budget appropriately.  This may mean cutting the traditional service budget so that the kingdom of God can flourish.  True community is where the people live with all things in common including finances.

As mainline churches seek to be relevant to this generation, I suspect that the worship wars will continue.  One guiding principle is you can’t cheap thrill excellence.  And the second is the responsibility of the mature body of disciples is to “pray for it and pay for it”.

Do you remember when you experienced a life transforming worship? Prodigal Worship Conference 2011 is designed to empower you and the worship design team to develop powerful worship that transforms individuals, congregations and communities. Our theme is 180 Degree Change and we have dynamic speakers that provide practical advice:

·         Jason Moore and Len Wilson of Midnight OilTaking Flight with Creativity: Worship Design Teams that Work

  ·         Shane ClaiborneThe Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical

  ·         Jenny SmithTransforming Worship in Small Membership Churches

  ·         Robbie MorganfieldThe Power of Transformative and Authentic Worship

  ·         Paul NixonI Refuse to Lead a Dying Church

  ·         Marvin MossEngaging the Culture to Preach to the Prodigal

  ·         Kim MillerDesigning Spaces for Connection and Community

  ·         Rudy BroplehThe 3A’s Business: Doing & Being the Church, Consistently & Holistically

Prodigal Worship Conference 2011
April 2, 2011
Glen Mar UMC, Ellicott City,MD

Register today – www.bwcumc.org/prodigalworship

Bring three people from your church and the fourth person registers for free.

We’re also offering a special live streaming session of the event at Hancock UMC in the Western region.  Participants will hear and see the three keynote speakers and two workshops. Lunch is included in the registration and participants will have the opportunity to browse the marketplace for books and other materials to assist in worship planning.

Our special rate for Prodigal Worship conference is $99 which will be effective until tomorrow, Feb 22. But, we would like to offer you this special rate until Friday, Feb. 25. Learn more about Prodigal Worship Conference and register today, www.bwcumc.org/prodigalworship.

Please contact Tonia Bennett for registration questions, tbennett@bwcumc.org.

I was shocked this month as I was traveled through several major cities on vacation and saw several churches that were closed, converted to restaurants, made into theaters and day care facilities.  What was even more shocking is that several were UMC with the marquee still in front of the building.

Hot Metal Bridge’s video is evidence that we should not abandon being the people of God in that community but we must find alternative places to be faithful.  I am also convinced that we need to faith communities for new people.  Our established congregations have lost the DNA of being externally focused.

A Christian music festival heal annually at Manidokan Camp & Retreat Center.  Designed for youth and young adult groups this weekend is packed full of workshops, amazing music and experiential worship experiences.

Come and join us July 16th-18. You can register online at http://www.bwccampsandretreats.com/Encounter.html

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