Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Worship Collaboration (1)

One great joy in last week's blogging was the buzz that followed my query about appropriate music for dealing with temptation. Several people replied. And, as a result, the worship leader was able to use some new music he had never heard before. So many worship tributaries flow in from every side. Nobody can keep in touch with them all...but how wonderful to receive others' suggestions and act on them. Worship was enriched.

At the moment I am writing an on-line course with music specialist at Northern Seminary, Karen Roberts. Called "Preaching and Worshiping through the Christian Year" it will launch in March 2008. Working with Karen has opened my eyes! How rarely do preachers and worship leaders collaborate over preparing public worship. Rather, they seem to work in separate boxes - preachers choosing texts and themes while worship leaders choose music. Their choices are then fed into the worship order that has become routine for their particular local church - from set liturgy to informal, (though often ordered!), worship.

What a difference it makes when they BOTH take greater responsibility for the whole. When the preacher cares about the shape of the worship service, and the content of its different elements. And the worship leader bothers about engaging with the Scripture to be preached and asks what impact this might have upon worship.

In refreshing ways I have already witnessed some collaboration in different places. Do you know preachers and worship leaders who collaborate effectively together? Could you share any "stories" with me? Whether you are a preacher, a worship leader or a concerned worshipper please give me feedback.

1 comment:

Edward said...

I have been a pastor since 1979, and pastoring at my current church since 1983.

Years ago, I used to put out a newsletter announcing my sermon texts (or topics) and title 3 months at a shot. This made it easier for service planners to plan along the line of the sermon theme.

After doing this for about 3 years, our board of elders suggested I drop this format. It was their opinion that my preaching was better when I had the freedom to change a topic/text during the week (or, more often than not, cut down the length of the text I dealt with, since I mostly preach expositorily). Apparently there was a price to pay for planning that was too detailed.

Nowadays, I usually get my power point outline out to our video team on Tuesdays, so our planners have that much "heads up" time.

But I have found our services even more meaningful when there is no attempt to "match." Although sometimes it can be meaningful to have a themed service (for example, around a holiday or Communion), there is every bit as much to be said for variety and contrast.

The positive with contrast is this: if the sermon subject/text does not address an interest or immediate need (though teaching Scripture for the sake of teaching Scripture is good, since all Scripture is BOTH inspired and profitable), then perhaps the music (or a skit) will speak to that need. And the opposite is just as true.