A Worship Peer Learning Group is a small group of 3 to 5 persons involved in leading, planning, or participating in worship in the local church. These groups can be made up of individuals from the same or different churches, meeting in person or electronically, to study and discuss a chosen book on worship. Join with other Worship Leaders/Planners/Pastors in your area, or start a study group with your Worship Planning team or committee at church. Encourage the youth leaders to form or join a group or engage your Adult Education class in a Worship Peer Learning Group study.
Worship Ministries has chosen two excellent books this year dealing with the pastoral/caring aspects of planning and leading worship. Convening a group consists of 1) invite people to your group, 2) choose one of the books below, 3) let us know how many are in your group and we will provide you with the books for study.
- Caring Worship, Helping Worship Leaders Provide Pastoral Care through the Liturgy, by Howard Vanderwell. This book offers practical insight into planning and leading meaningful worship that is theologically rich and pastoral and caring. Each short chapter ends with discussion questions.
- The Worship Pastor, a Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams, by Zac Hicks. This book highlights the important role of the worship leader/pastor/planner and offers many opportunities for rich discussion and learning.
Peer Learning Group conveners will be offered a free registration (one per group) to attend the 2019 Symposium on Worship at Calvin College to be held January 24-26, 2019.
Groups will begin forming now. There are two options for starting a group: 1) form a study group beginning in the fall extending through the ministry year, 2) form a group to begin meeting midwinter through late spring. To get started email us at email@example.com or call 877.272.6202.
Comments from former Peer Learning Group participants:
The study over the past 8 months has widely expanded my understanding and appreciation of 'what we're doing' in worship. Our monthly meeting of four individuals, gathered around a small table stimulated excellent conversation and curiosity on this awesome topic of worshipping our awesome God. I realize the more I learn, the more there is to learn.
This book has come at a great time for our core staff team as we have recently hired a new lead pastor, two full-time children’s directors, and a youth director and part-time assistant. I’ve been on staff as worship director for almost 3 years. Our conversations about intergenerational worship have led to deeper discussions about worship in general. We are recognizing the need for a congregational “worship statement”. Answering some of the more central questions about worship here will help us better answer questions about intergenerational worship (and those discussions need to go hand-in-hand in some places). This book has spurred some great discussion for us that I think will benefit our congregation greatly.
We really enjoy getting together because we all understand the frustrations, challenges, and blessings of worship planning. The benefit is making time to do things we otherwise wouldn't do - and getting ideas from other worship experiences — different church settings.
A few things I learned: 1) Worship is about the Trinity — the Holy Spirit enables our worship, Jesus perfects it, and God accepts it; we are simply joining in with what has been happening since the beginning of time. 2) Liturgy means ‘the work of the people’ — our job is to engage and enable people to participate, not to put on a show. The worship leaders are only there to support and supplement the congregation’s voice. The bulk of the worship should be on the congregation’s shoulders.