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Managing and coaching are not the same thing... which one does your praise team need?

April 6, 2014 0 3 comments
Resource, Website

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship invites you to check out our new website that is still in beta testing. We value your feedback!

March 16, 2017 0 1 comments
Resource

Here are worship resources and prayers for refugees and immigrants that have been culled from the archives of Reformed Worship

March 9, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

As I read through sermons by the great Reformer Martin Luther, I got stuck on a sermon from Luke 2:41-52. Was I concluding that Luther preached a good sermon but did not preach the text?

March 8, 2017 2 1 comments
Resource

Are you a sound tech? Or are you involved in audio decisions at your church? Here are a couple helpful resources to assist you in your role!  

March 8, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Liturgyletter.com is an excellent source of timely resources to help you connect to the lectionary. Find suggestions for prayer, art, music, hymns, readings, and more. 

March 8, 2017 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Training for worship musicians is so important. Has anyone tried online training?

March 8, 2017 0 4 comments
Resource

Did you know there are "Reading Sermons" available on the CRCNA website?  You'll find the link to them below, as well as some other ideas for those times you may find yourself without a preacher.

Reading Sermons

A searchable collection of complete sermons provided by the “Reading...

March 7, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

Two days after this January’s presidential inauguration, our liturgy included singing this sentence: “I see a generation rising up to take its place with selfless faith.” I suddenly heard my voice go silent. 

March 2, 2017 4 1 comments
Resource, Website

The Professing Our Faith toolkit offers practical, creative resources for encouraging a culture of commitment in your church, preparing people to profess their faith, planning a welcoming council conversation and more. 

March 1, 2017 0 0 comments
Q&A

We are rethinking our church committee job descriptions. Does anyone have a worship task force job description that works well? 

February 27, 2017 0 3 comments
Blog

If you are looking for a new church, don’t make up your mind before you even begin. Be open to being surprised about where God will use you—even if the building or worship style looks way different than you imagined.

February 27, 2017 4 0 comments
Resource, Job Description

Friendship CRC in Byron Center, MI, is seeking someone with sound and technical skills to serve in the part-time position of Worship Ministries Technical Director. 

February 24, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource

Children learn through observation, but they learn best through participation! Check out this new tool that offers 10 meaningful ways to involve kids in worship.

February 23, 2017 1 0 comments
Discussion Topic

Christianity Today recently published an article identifying the top 5 church design trends to look for in the year ahead. I'd love to know, have you seen these trends at your church?

February 13, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

My church has approximately 40 different denominational backgrounds represented. In such a diverse group, the tendency is to go "wide," stripping worship to singing and a message. But what if we opted to go "deep" instead?

February 9, 2017 8 1 comments
Blog

Planning Center Online ("PCO") is a subscription based scheduling service designed to assist churches with putting together worship services. Let me know if you have any questions and I'll try to help! 

February 2, 2017 3 3 comments
Discussion Topic

I'm exploring the possibility of putting on a workshop to guide people through some of the differences between playing/singing in a band versus playing/singing solo. Got any ideas?

January 23, 2017 1 2 comments
Blog

One question I hear from church leaders is: How can we organize our practices, groups, and curriculum for lifelong faith formation? One simple way to organize faith formation is around the liturgical calendar.

January 16, 2017 2 4 comments
Blog

Martin Luther King, Jr. day is not a “Black” holiday. It is a day to affirm the dignity of all people. It is a day to remember the example of King – a drum major for justice.

January 9, 2017 1 0 comments
Blog

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.” (MSG)

January 6, 2017 0 0 comments
Resource, Workshop or Training

I highly recommend this course to any of you who perhaps, like me, love worship, love to plan worship, and love to learn, but do not have a theology or worship degree.

December 29, 2016 1 1 comments
Resource, Book or Booklet

Classis Arizona has approximately 50 Blue Psalters in like-new condition. Please contact us if you can use some of these books!

December 22, 2016 0 0 comments
Blog

For the last several years, groups of young people from several of the local schools have blessed the CRC staff at "1700" with music of the Advent and Christmas season! 

December 15, 2016 2 0 comments
Blog

My adoption and life story isn’t “I once was lost, but now am found.” It’s more of a story of being eternally found from the beginning of time, with a very visible, tangible example of God’s providence. 

December 8, 2016 1 1 comments

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This is a great resource - a couple bugs, but overall - thanks to everyone that is working on this. I look forward to using it. 

I am curious how this works itself out in the sacraments and especially regarding children? Are children baptized as infants? What about those who have different beliefs in adult baptism? And are children allowed to take communion? Do they need to be baptized? etc. Thanks!

And therein we have the crux of the problem... is it the preacher or the sermon that receives the critique?   What about the poor preacher who delivers a good sermon?  The unbelieving preacher who is still true to the text?  The drunkard who preaches true?   Or, the loving pastor who can barely put two words together coherently?   The juxtapositions and contradictions of life.   "He who is not against us is for us."  To give God the glory, rather than the preacher.....

Here's the Worship Team mandate from Trinity CRC in Rock Valley IA.

 

Objectives

 

      To achieve the stated purpose, the following objectives have been adopted:

  1. The Team will administer the worship at Trinity.
  2. The Team will promote the use of relevant worship at Trinity.
  3. The Team will provide opportunities for members of Trinity to learn more about worship.

 

Membership

 

      The membership of the Team will consist of seven (7) members of Trinity. A Church Council member will also be appointed to serve as a member of the team and as a liaison with the Council. The Pastor(s) will serve in an advisory role on the Team.
      Gifts that will be valuable for this team are creative communication, administration, leadership, helps, and discernment.

 

Terms of Service

 

      The terms of service will initially be for three (3) years and will be staggered. The Council may ask a team member to serve for more than one (1) term.

 

Areas of Responsibility

 

      The areas of responsibility include:

  1. Maximizing meaningful participation and use of member’s gifts in worship.
  2. Develop leadership in worship.
  3. Supervise and coordinate the worship planning team.
  4. Receive yearly report from a Children in Worship representative which includes a synopsis of the past year, positive, negatives and requests for assistance.

This service gives you the ability to practice the song with your instrument either higher or lower in the mix. Doesn't give instruction as to how to actually play the song. So more effective from a rehearsal perspective, not as much from a learning perspective. Definitely has a place though.

I just had our worship coordinator point us in the direction of this service instead http://www.multitracks.com/products/rehearsalmix/.

I think it's a bit more mature - has the ability to practice in multiple keys, links with PCO, etc.

We'd love to hear what you think - pros and cons.

This is an interesting website! Have not used online training before as I always go with the play by ear option, but I think I will have to give their free account a try to see what they have to offer.

  Paul sees things differently. "I urge, then first of all , that requests, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (Tim 2:1-2). 

Thank you, Mel. 

 this is our job description for the worship committee: 

Worship Committee

a. Mandate

The mandate of the Worship Committee is to enable the congregation to join together in celebrative worship that reflects the church’s vision, mission, and core values. The committee works under the supervision of Council, reports to the Administrative Committee, and is advised by the Elders.

b. Members

The Worship Committee shall consist of a minimum of three persons

recruited by the Administrative Committee and approved by the Council. One Elder shall serve as liaison to and member of the committee. One of the members shall be designated as Chair and one as Secretary. The term of service shall be three years; normally, members will not serve more than two terms. A simple majority of members shall be considered a quorum.

c. Responsibilities

Planning, carrying out, and reflecting on the worship needs of the church

Planning the annual calendar of services.

Arranging for the staffing and scheduling of the services.

Providing for sanctuary décor.

Providing resources to enhance worship services.

Preparing for administration of the sacraments.

Reporting to the Administrative Committee and presenting it with a brief, annual outline of priorities that includes its budget needs.

Great idea to post about PCO, Adom!  We started using Planning Centre Online at Faith Church in Burlington about 4 years ago. Here are some notes based on our experience.

I highly recommend PCO for any church team, especially where you have one or two technology champions who can assist others with the rollout. There is a huge range of options -- many of which we don't use -- and for those comfortable with using software, it is very intuitive.PCO is an amazing worship planning tool (and more), especially used in conjunction with CCLI. I use a lot of SAAS (Software as a Service) tools in my line of work and PCO is better than most from a user design perspective (not to say there weren't some growing pains from less tech savvy users). They continue to make improvements over time.

Planning Centre Online has been branching into other areas such as volunteer management and online giving. Based on my experience with PCO to date, I suspect those tools would also be great.

Here are some highlights of the features we use most:

- Scheduling - team members (including pastors and AV volunteers) can block out their dates in advance so that our scheduler knows who is available when.

- Email Notifications - A reminder is automatically sent a week in advance to anyone who is scheduled for the next Sunday.

- Planning - we have a general service template so that all of the regular pieces of the order of worship are there. Then you simply drag and drop your songs into the template. The planning matrix view allows you to see past Sunday plans alongside your current plan so that you can avoid repeating songs too often. Our pastor has started to pre-populate the plans in advance with his sermon themes and Bible passages, so that worship leaders can get started planning their services as early as possible.

- Worship Plans/Cue Sheets - Once a service is planned, a one-page PDF of the plan can be sent to all of the team members who are scheduled, along with a note where you can provide special instructions or additional information about the service.

- Reporting - PCO keeps track of when and how often you use songs and allows you to generate reports.

- Music Stand App - I am the only team member who has taken advantage of the Music Stand app but for me it has been a huge game changer. I use my iPad to lead worship. I see the chord sheet in the key of my choice and I advance the page or backtrack using a bluetooth foot pedal. - I am also able to attach prepared notes such as introductory words and prayers and include that on my screen. There are some cool built-in features, including a metronome, and notation and highlighting tools. While the rest of the team sorts through paper file folders to gather their music, I just put my iPad in it's holder and open the app.

 

 

 

 

I've used PCO also as a volunteer at my church.  I really enjoyed having the option to review the sheet music or listen to the music at home.

Thanks for posting this, Adom. Looks like a pretty great tool (and built with a very modern interface). I'd be curious to hear how other churches are using it as well. 

I thought it would be helpful to add a link to their website: planning.center

Sorry this article is 4 years old. They have changed their info since it was written. It is worth the money for us

You are mistaken. Nothing about it is free. We're small and looking but your advertisment was misleading

Wow, this is great, Diane!  Please let us know how the course goes!!  This could be so helpful to lay worship leaders in the CRC!

I was going to recommend this workshop with Greg Scheer also. I attended it several years ago when it was offered at the Trinity College location. The book is also an excellent resource.

I am doing the exact same thing on March 25.  Greg Scheer is leading the workshop and I'm leaving it in his hands.  But the day is shaping in this manner:

9:00 am - Opening.

"the Art of Worship"

Going through each instrument and explain the who/what/when/where/why part of their role in the group.

using occasional instrumentation (brass, woodwinds, etc)

Working with various abilities/skills (we have a wide range so explaining how to include beginners and not dumb down more experienced musicians, and also those who are self-taught and formally taught.

- Working out a lunch in there somewhere.

Also, the idea that we will be using the music from the workshop into an actual worship service is also important to me - so the repertoire we are using on Saturday will be the repertoire for the service on Sunday.

We are also extending an invitation to other worship & band leaders, musicians, etc. from other churches.

Just a little correction!  Pentecost does not last 50 days... it is one day (the third great feast - along with Christmas and Easter) that kicks off the season called "Ordinary Time"  - Sam Gutierrez.   Sorry about that.  :)

Diane,

thanks for the creative example!  I love it!  

Liturgical season "theme" song!  - Smart!

Along with some of the things you've described, we also had a theme song for Advent that was sung each week during Advent in different places in the worship service. The church could choose a theme song for each season - perhaps that goes with the scripture passage that is memorized, or a theme for the season. As we participated in the season of waiting (advent), we used the refrain, "Take O Take Me As I Am" (#741 in Lift Up Your Hearts), and also did motions. The children enjoyed learning the motions with the adults in worship.  Since the church was also going through a renewal process, we also added a 2nd 'verse' and sang, "Take O take us as we are..." 

Simple and succinct! A good way to live into a rhythm of formation.  And, I think it's a positive when we connect what we do as a local congregation with the global church in observing and practicing the liturgical church year.  

Thanks everyone,

   This is very helpful.  I'm looking into the books you mentioned.  I think delving into the resources of the Calvin Institute of Worship is a great reminder as well.  

   Feel free to keep adding to the discussion as I'm sure others will be interested in such a topic.

Thanks much, Katie. Adoption is a blessed thing and God's Providence is a puzzling, yet wondrous thing. You have capture a Light-filled bit of the Wonder allowing the mysterious puzzlement to continue. That is necessary and good, I think, because if we think we can "get" God, well, that's blasphemy. But if we can thank God without trying to get God, we have the best of both worlds and God is Lord of all worlds.

As I began research on a book on preaching Christ from Psalms, my proofreaders suggested I follow the Psalms selected for the Christian Year by the Common Lectionary, Year A.  Although the Lectionary selected these Psalms in response to the Old Testament lessons, the selected Psalms themselves make for wonderful, enlightening series of sermons for Advent, Lent, and the whole Christian year.  I learned a lot from the research and writing.  If you wish to do something different from other years, I suggest you consider a series on Psalms.

This year I am going through the "I am" statements in John.

https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/february-2008/the-i-ams-of-jesus/

I have read and recommend "True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God" by Bob Kauflin. You can also buy a study guide to go with the book.  We haven't used this with our Worship Committee, but it is on my radar to study it together in the future. 

Thank you for this wonderful gift, Jeff! I've done a series before on the words from the cross. I really like the Jericho road idea!

I think my favorite Lent-Easter series I've preached was when I connected the life of Joseph in Genesis with Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. I was surprised at the parallels and echoes between the two stories. You're welcome to see what I did on my blog: 4thpoint.wordpress.com/messages.

Gratefully,
Stanley

Our Worship Planning Team worked through Nancy Beach's book An Hour on Sunday. We discussed one chapter per month and even brought ideas to our devotional/discussion time at worship team rehearsals. http://www.nancylbeach.com/books/ 

Have you tried the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship online resources?  This isn't a book, but if you would like to study a particular topic that your worship committee would like to explore further, they may have some articles, etc.

Also, Greg Scheer has some books on worship "how-to" etc.  

Wilma, 

Have you taken a look at Reformed Worship's website? (www.ReformedWorship.org)  There are about 30 years of worship resources available for free! If you put "Christmas" in the search box you will come up with quite the list. 

If you are looking for something particular email worship@crcna.org and we will see what we can do to help. 

I would recommend Marlea Gilbert "The Work of The People: What We Do in Worship and Why".  It explains the structure of worship in a clear way. I found it really broadened my understanding of the components of a worship service and renewed my vision for worship. It is easy to read with discussion questions at the end of each chapter as well as ideas for use by a worship committee or team.

Andrew, 

I haven't read "For the Beauty"  have heard good things. I think it would be a great choice especially if you want to focus on the role of the arts in worship. 

Is there a particular theme/topic you are hoping to cover? 

Some other possibilities to consider (a beginning list):  

Diversity/Multiethnic worship: The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World, Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Pastoral Role of Worship Leaders: The Worship Pastor: A Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams, Zac M. Hicks 

Basics on Worship Theology and Practice: Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders, Greg Scheer

Worship that is inclusive of all abilities: Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship, Betty Grit and Barb Newman

Worship as Formation/Transformative: You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit  or Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation both by James Smith and What's Love Got to Do With It?: How the Heart of God Shapes Worship, Sam Hamstra

General worship theology and practice (includes study questions): Wise Church: Exploring Faith and Worship with Christians Around the World, Emily Brink and Paul Detterman

Worship and Difficult Times: Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership During Difficult Times, Kathleen Smith

I commend your worship committee for taking time to deepen their understanding and practice through a book study.  There are so many great books on worship that have been written in the last decade that there is something out there for any context.  I am sure others can add to this beginning list. 

Hi Andrew,

Kudos for wanting to learn more about worship with your team. I'm not familiar with that book, but a few I can think of are: The Worship Architect, by Constance Cherry - I've just studied this book recently for a class and found it very helpful in thinking about planning worship. We've (Worship Ministries) been hosting Peer Learning Groups for worship leaders (planners, worship committees, etc.) the last few years. The books that groups are currently using are: The Next Worship, by Sandra Van Opstal - a great book to help you think about multicultural worship in your context. Also, The Accessible Gospel - a book that looks at making the worship accessible to all people, including those with abilities and disabilities. Last year worship groups studied the book, Stilling the Storm, by Kathy Smith - this book is great for a church that is going through transition and/or difficult times. 

If you'd like more information on the peer learning groups that we are supporting, email me at worship@crcna.org.

Hi Tim! Just wanted to give you a heads up that part 4 was just posted here

A few blessings and benedictions:

May God go before you to lead you;
May God go behind you to guard you;
May God go beneath you to support you;
May God go beside you to befriend you.
Do not be afraid. Let the blessing of God come upon you today.
Do note be afraid.

(this first one from Lift Up Your Hearts #946, more found #937, #936, #934, #935, #950, #954, )

The new one below from a service of prayer for the church in Syria (Dec. 2016, This Liturgy has been written by Adeeb Awad, Sabine Dressler, Hadi Ghantous, Najla Kassab, Hartmut Smoor

Sending and Blessings

Liturgist: See, how very good and pleasant it is when kindred stay together in unity.

Congregation: It is like the precious oil on the head that nurtures us and grands us high regard.         

Liturgist: How very good it is to care for each other now and in the time to come.

Congregation: By this we become a blessing to each other by this we become a blessing to the world.

Liturgist: Now leave, protected by God, and go where God will use as instruments of peace. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May God make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Congregation: Amen

Thanks, Kevin! Looks like The Worship Sourcebook can be picked up here and that there's also a lengthy sample available to preview the book. 

Do you have the worship sourcebook?  There are some in there.

I've looked for benedictions before too, and found them pretty scattered. Here are a few links:

    New Testament benedictions

    A few nice ones from Faith and Worship 

    A few Irish ones (especially the last two)

Hope this helps a bit, but also hope you'll post a consolidated list as others respond :-) 

 

I would love to see the remainder of this series. I've reposted the first 3 parts on our church's FB page and received some positive feedback. But I have not seen any more parts. If they're available please post!

Thank you

Thanks for sharing the story of Eloise. Beautiful little girl!  

posted in: Eloise's Story

Thank you, Angie, for sharing Eloise's life and story. She truly was created and dearly loved by God. While I can't pretend to know your grief and pain, your courage is clear. God will use her life and your story to save others.

posted in: Eloise's Story

Recently I've made a web applications that might answer your question:

http://paullam.ddns.net/bibleppt/

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the application: twennsgame@gmail.com 

Beautiful, Angela! I would really love to see that video and include it in Faith Formation Ministries' Faith Storytelling toolkit so other churches can see it too. If you're willing, send it to me at sswartzentruber@crcna.org!

I love this, Angela! What awesome stories probably came out of the question you asked. Thanks for sharing. 

We are new to intnetional faith story telling. Because of what I read on the Network, this summer we video taped 10 responses to the question "Tell me about a meaningful Bible passage and why it is meaningful?" We included youth to seniors and different nationalities. We showed the first one last Sunday and I think it went well. It was very powerful to hear this story from this particular person. I hope it is the beginning of us being much more vulnerable with each other as we share our faith.

Hi Francine, thanks for planning to use one or more of the slides. Also for your Sunday School program, you may want to check out the one to three minute videos we produced. For downloading the slides, clicking (Preview) will only allow you to preview but not download the slides. To download, you need to click on the filename (like Disability_Week_Community.jpg) and that should prompt your computer to open it up in the picture viewer software you have. Once you have it open in that program, use the "save" function to save it to your computer. 

We would like to use these slides for our church disability Sunday program. Having trouble downloading them. Any suggestions? You can email me at fhbell78@gmail.com

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