Ask the Worship Coach Webinar (Q&A Summary)

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On Wednesday, April 22, 4 worship leaders from the U.S. and Canada, as well as 3 worship coaches, gathered for a Q&A session. Below you will find the questions that were asked, as well as the suggestions and ideas that were shared. We hope this information is helpful! 

  1. Does anyone use Zoom for online worship? If not, what platform are you using?
    1. Yes, a church does Zoom for worship, which includes a Friday run-thru with all participants, and a Sunday morning event. 
    2. Another church uses YouTube. To encourage the congregation to prepare, they send out a liturgy and invite people to prepare by getting their Bibles and lighting a candle just prior to the service. On YouTube Premium people can chat with each other on the side.
    3. Some churches create pre-recorded videos that are combined and presented through YouTube on Sunday morning. A good, easy video editing program is Wevideo.com.
  2. What are the elements used in your online worship?
    1. One church began very simple with a message and prayer by pastors and has been adding elements and more participants as they get more comfortable with the technology. Ideas here: insert video or include people from the congregation praying, reading scripture, singing, children’s message, etc. 
    2. Several worship teams go into the church building and either record or go live on the platform or stage with a scaled back worship team and pastor so that the people can see the worship in their ‘own’ space. 
  3. We are looking for ways to help the people connect. Suggestions?
    1. Zoom coffee time. Most of the churches on the webinar offer a Zoom coffee time after the worship service. If the number of participants is small enough they can stay in one group, otherwise participants can be placed into Zoom rooms for conversation.
    2. The congregation is sent an email on Friday with information about the service and how to connect. Also the Zoom coffee time link is made available.

    3. Discussion groups are encouraged via Zoom on a scripture passage or the sermon.

  4. How do I expand the song 'diet' of my church? The worship leader is overwhelmed with all of the music out there, and asking for tips on choosing new, good music for the congregation.

    1. Keep a list of songs that you currently are singing (see example in the Additional Resources below). You can see what is currently being sung by the congregation and in what areas and styles the congregation could grow. 

    2. Gentle reminder: now is not the time to do a lot of new songs. It is a good time to think ahead.

    3. Instead of ‘diet’ think of a wardrobe: you have your standard basics that go with everything, your seasonal pieces, and then items for flare. Take care to insure that anything new will match well with the standards you already have, and don’t venture out too far. It is okay to add the occasional piece for flare, or even a one-time song for a specific purpose. 

    4. When looking over your congregations' entire repertoire, ask if there are any gaps. Try to stretch into those areas and learn several songs that fit your congregation and can fill in the gap.

    5. Additional Resources:

      1. Your Song Menu, by Paul Ryan

      2. Calvin 50 Song Collection, by Paul Ryan and Luke Enders

      3. Example Church Song List (provided by Greg Scheer)

  5. How can we share music with our congregation—especially now?

    1. Share a playlist. You can make a YouTube playlist and share the link with your congregation for listening. These may be songs that you currently sing, are thinking about singing, or songs just for their listening. 

    2. For the Covid-19 pandemic, a coach has a shared playlist on Spotify (see the additional Resources below) that members of the congregation can add a song that speaks to them right now. This list may inform the worship planners’ selection of music for the next several months.

    3. Additional Resources:

      1. Youtube Playlist for a congregation: “Songs of Hope for an Anxious Time”

      2. A Spring 2020 playlist for our short series “Resting in Romans 8” (with Psalm 23 making an appearance) 
  6. Other resources mentioned:
    1. A service: Easter Lessons and Hymns (RW) Without Communion

    2. Hymnary.org has many free resources available to the church 

    3. Lift Up Your Hearts - the hymnal has digital resources and the website has many resources 

    4. Digitalsongsandhymns.com - songs and hymns to project

The worship coaches involved in this webinar were Greg Scheer, Katie Roelofs, and Ruth Ann Schuringa. Thanks to each of them for their great suggestions and fun discussion! The full list of CRC Worship Coaches can be found here, as well as coaching options and suggested fees

Join us for the next Ask the Worship Coach webinar to be held on Wednesday, May 7 at 2:00 pm EST. Register by filling out this short google form. Note that this will again be an interactive webinar and will be limited in number.

Questions? Email us at [email protected]

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