The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship is excited to present to Network readers the Vital Worship Grants Program. The annual grants of $5,000 to $12,000 are to foster vital worship in congregations, parishes, and other worshiping communities in North America.
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There have been times when there are just a handful of musicians and vocalists on stage with minimal capabilities. The songs (especially the contemporary ones) scream for a full band with keys, drums, and a bass, but we don’t have it available. What to do?
I have to admit, sometimes I look around at our small congregation and see only the gaps in the pews instead of the blessed people sitting between those gaps. Have you ever thought of the hours you spent preparing for worship and wondered, “Why did I bother?”
To be clear: I am not opposed to correction and suggestions for improvement. But I encourage us to distinguish that from complaining. When it’s in fact complaining we’re dealing with, I offer three things that have come to my mind on the subject.
The question here is, “What message are we sending to a congregation when we only sing songs written by white men?” What message are we sending to those who are not WASP males? When I take time to ask those questions of those who are not like me, I learn that such a practice hinders the goal of becoming a multi-ethnic church by suggesting that...
I like the liturgical calendar. I think the idea of a year-round pattern for worship used by believers throughout the world is cool. And, just to be more childlike about it, I like the colors. For years now I’ve had this thought that I’d like to create a space in my home for worship and prayer. I’d like to use those liturgical colors to remind myself of what season...
At CrossWay Church, we have found a great free tool that has really helped with our worship planning and volunteer management. It is called Service Builder.net
As worship leaders, we go through spells on what is good congregational singing and what encourages our particular congregations to sing in worship. If you are like me, you are always striving to strike a balance between familiar, new, Biblical, thematic, liturgical, and pastoral when we plan worship for our congregation.
There is, in a church we've been attending, a fairly significant chunk of history in the pew, two versions of the denomination's Psalter Hymnal. Still, yesterday, when we sang "The Old Rugged Cross," a hymn that must rank among the most popular of the 20th century, the pastor had to import it into the bulletin because neither Psalter had it. Weird, I thought. I wonder why not?
Even though more than half of us are visual learners, much of our worship is still word-based. What will it take for you and your visual arts team to change that? Money? Time? Someone's approval? A little encouragement? We've got a webinar and book that will help you with at least one of these...
We in the United States are preparing and celebrating the season in the midst of fear, sorrow, and despair for our nation and our culture. Many are familiar with the Carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” it has a “ring” to it that invokes the spirit of the season. When we read the poem itself without the music, it lends us to believe that the author has a difficult time at this particular time of the year.
Usually, a utility man is a player who does not get much attention as they are not great players who pile up gaudy stats. Indeed the phrase “jack-of-all trades, master of none” could be used. However, a utility man's value comes in their ability to fill in wherever needed.
Sometimes worship leaders get caught up in worship so much that we don’t look around us to see what else is going on in the life of the congregation. I’ve done that. I’ve had the attitude that worship is about God (which it is) but nothing else should interfere with that particular thing. There are other ministries in the life of the congregation that we need to emphasize or recognize in worship.