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Get up, get ready, and Lead Worship!

Lead Worship! is a new course that aims to get people out of the pews and into the pulpit. Its purpose is to get more lay people in Methodist and Uniting congregations involved in worship.

Director of Trinity College’s ministry development unit Rev Dr David Bell compiled the year-long course which recently had its official launch. He says it is made up of modules written by expert Kiwi worship leaders.

“Lead Worship! is designed to give lay people who are not used to speaking in church the confidence to lead various aspects of a service –from introducing songs to leading prayers or children’s worship.

“The course teaches people what they need to know, not what to say. It has examples of prayers, kids’ stories, and PowerPoint presentations and it has study material to help people understand how theology is used in worship. The material is very accessible.”

David says ideally the course will be done in groups with parish or district superintendents acting as enablers. People who live in isolated areas could work through it on their own, however.

The Lead Worship! year is split into two semesters, each with six units. Topics include a profile of a worship leader, prayers in worship, music in worship, the resources of the church year, and images of God and Jesus.

“There are no written assignments. Instead people are encouraged to become practically involved by leading various aspects of worship.

“Gradually people put together more and more aspects of a service. Those who wish can be evaluated by their local synod in order to be registered as a worship leader,” David says.

This is the first year of a projected two-year course that will replace the old Methodist lay preachers’ course. To become a lay preach will require another year of Lead Worship! plus two external papers – Methodist Studies and Introduction to the New Testament – run by the Ecumenical Institute for Distance Theological Studies, (EIDTS).

Several congregations in Wellington have trialled the Lead Worship! kit. They include a group Karori Uniting, Hutt City Uniting, and a multicultural group at Wesley Wellington that includes Fijians, Samoans, Tongans, and Palangi. In August the Wesley Wellington group will put together a multicultural Peace Sunday.

The Lead Worship! course materials (two semester course books plus CD with PowerPoints) are available directly from Mission Resourcing. Contact Nicola Grundy at nicolag@methodist.org.nz or 09 571 9146.

For further information about Lead Worship! or to find out more about the Methodist Studies course contact Rev Dr David Bell at trinitybells@clear.net.nz or 04 0997874.