Nearly 20 people from across the Synod attended the second of a series of 4 training days for worship leaders and worship teams, organised by the Coast Mission Partnership. With changing patterns of ministry, churches are looking more and more to lay people and teams to help in leading worship, and these sessions are aimed at supporting them in doing so.
The event took place at Trinity Church, Gosforth, on Saturday 30 November, and was led by Lawrence Moore, Director of the Windermere Centre, one of the United Reformed Church’s resource centres for learning.
Participants grouped themselves around tables of 4-6 for the day, which included a mixture of teaching and group exercises. The training focussed mainly on preaching, including how to approach scripture, where to find resources, and how to work well in teams. We were urged to create a ‘sacramental space’ in our worship to enable people to meet with God, to involve worshippers actively in services, and not to assume that only a highly professional presentation will do. Lawrence encouraged us to be open to be challenged and even offended by our study of the Bible, to enable us to see the world differently, and bring that fresh perspective to the congregation.
We shared experience of using various resources: study Bibles, commentaries, musical and liturgical resources, and ourselves. We also looked at the vast scope offered by the Internet. In addition to denominational websites, we looked at http://www.worshiptogether.com/, www.engageworship.org, www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk, www.christianaid.org.uk, www.freshexpressions.org.uk, www.worshipworkshop.org.uk, www.alternativeworship.org, www.bible.oremus.org, www.textweek.com, and www.theworkofthepeople.com.
Finally, we considered the different roles that people play in groups, using Belbin’s analysis, noting that a body needs all its parts working together to be effective. In the context of teamwork, this means that a mixture of people are needed with complementary strengths in thinking, action and social roles.
It was another inspiring training day, and we were very well looked after by the team at Trinity.
The next training day is planned for Saturday 22 March, on the theme of prayer in worship.