This syllabus covers a study of resources, skills, and strategies for planning and leading public worship services. Particular attention will be given to the interpretative reading of Scripture, congregational prayer, training lay worship leaders, and celebrations of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
A study of resources, skills, and strategies for planning and leading public worship services. Particular attention will be given to the interpretative reading of Scripture, congregational prayer, training lay worship leaders, and celebrations of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
1. To articulate and understand key biblical and theological perspectives on Christian corporate and public worship.
2. To develop an ability to think critically and discerningly about the issues associated with the congregational worship service.
3. To read excellent and informative recent publications on worship’s meaning,purpose andpractice.
4. To develop pastoral sensitivities that will enable us to plan and lead worship services that will draw worshipers into the presence of God, enable them to engage in a conversation with God, and provide for healthy Christian nurture.
5. To develop skills in worship planning so that worship services implement a biblical concept of worship, create vital worship opportunities, and both reflect and meet the spiritual needs of those who worship.
6. To develop skills in worship leadership such as preparing prayers, selecting and presenting songs, preparing transitions and set-ups, reading Scripture, and training others to do the same.
7. To develop an appreciation for the collaborative style of worship planning that values the gifts of others, learns how to work together creatively, finds the joy of partnerships in offering our gifts to God and the Christian community, and will aim to both prevent and resolve conflict that may arise.
8. To grow in the joy of planning worship, offering it to God through Christ, and sense the privilege of leading congregations in worship.
9. To grow in personal spirituality so that we can lead others in the same growth.
1. Faithful attendance at all class sessions. (20%)
2. Active participation in all class discussions based on the readings. (20%)
3. Fulfillment of exercises and writing assignments. (60%)
1. Write a biographical essay, maximum two pages double spaced, in which you (1) cite the church(es) of which you are or have been a member, (2) describe the types of worship services that have been formative in your life, (3) comment on their strengths and weaknesses as you see them, and (4) describe any active role you currently have in worship planning and/or leadership.
Due on Session 2
2. Visit four churches of differing worship styles and write a one page (double-spaced) evaluative report on each that is a reflection on their theology of worship, how it is expressed in their worship service, and identifying what the issues of worship are in that church as you see them. It would be best if you try to arrange it so that two of these services include one of the sacraments.
Due (in series, not all at once) as you have them completed, but in conjunction with our schedule to discuss them in Session 3, Session 5 and Session 7.
3. Write a congregational worship statement for either your own congregation or a hypothetical one. In the introduction, write a couple of paragraphs explaining the personality and culture of the congregation for which you are writing the statement.
Due at Session 4
4. Work with one or two other classmates to collaboratively plan a complete worship service similar to theweb services of CICW. (We will agree on collaboration teams at the first session of class.) Select an event in the Christian year as the focus for this service. Provide three sections of commentary for this service-sermon notes, music notes, and liturgy notes-to aid those who will use this service in part of in full. Accompany the service with a one-page double-spaced report that identifies a few of the theological issues you considered for this service and how you treated them.
This assignment should be done in steps throughout the quarter according to the designated deadlines, and put completely together at the end of the quarter.
-Session 3 – determine the event of the church year to be observed, and the theme of the service, with a one-paragraph expression of the theme.
-Session 5 – sketch out the entire service, noting each step of the service to be included, placing them in the order needed, and identifying the sermon theme, text, and Scripture reading(s).
-Session 7 – add the specifics of the service including songs, litanies, readings, etc. Write commentary notes (for sermon starters, music and liturgy) that will explain to others who might use this service the reason for your choices, and suggestions that will aid them in their use or leadership of the service.
-Session 9 – hand in the completed service in finished form, submitted both in hard copy and electronically.
5. Design a sample annual worship calendar for your congregation for morning worship. In this calendar identify (1) the seasons of the Christian year to be observed, (2) the dates of their observance, (3) a paragraph that will capture the theme/intent of the season, (4) other special events to be observed in worship, and (5) suggestions for four series of messages, indicating the theme of the series, its length, where it will be placed on the worship calendar [specific weekly titles and texts are not necessary].
Due at Session 6
(Please note the reading assignments required for each class session, and the written assignments that are due for submission at each session.)