Cathy Townley, author of Missional Worship, gave a webinar today on the topic through The Center for Progressive Renewal. Cathy Townley is one of the leading consultants and coaches helping mainline and progressive churches design effective worship. She is an experienced worship leader, coach and member of a United Methodist church. You can receive a 30% discount if you order her book through her website.
Her basic message is: Worship fuels invitation. Invitation grows you as a person first. It also grows your church. Worship is a lifestyle, not an event that occurs just on Sunday morning
I. The Idea
- Worship is our whole life, not one hour a week. It is a worship lifestyle.
- “Faith talk” is invitation – expresssing the core of who you are.
- You are being real, without judgment or forcing yourself on someone.
- This is authentic, truth-telling.
- Worship is about getting outside the church building.
- Delivering a message of hope and love.
- It starts with spiritual practices – prayer, meditation, journaling, solitude, foregiveness, confession, asking God to inspire conversation.
II. Relationship to Church Growth
- Number one question is “How do we get more members into the church?”
- Mission is Relational – we all have a network of contacts.
- Get out into the community and have “faith talks” with people. The at tractional church model is dead.
- Most church persons don’t pray or practice the disciplines.
- If you “don’t know people who are not already going to church” you are not doing missional work.
- Many have been wounded by the church. The field is ripe.
III. Role of Pastor
- To be missional a Pastor must spend 25-30% of their time “in the neighborhood.”
- Most churches are isolated from their own back yard.
- A church’s mission field depends on it’s location, population density, demographics, psycographics, eduation, lifestyle and spiritual influences.
- The missional Pastor’s role is to overcome the gulf between church and people who do not have contact with the church.
- The missional Pastor must intentionally build the bridges to the community.
- Adjusting your schedule: to spend time with God; to meet with non-church members; to spend time influencing followers.
- Pastors don’t have to abandon the church to be missional, but they have to be intentional.
- Majority of US church congregation attendance is under 100 people and they have been doing church a certain way for a long time.
- The church has become isolated in terms of style and content.
- The organization of missional worship has to grow out of relationships outside the church.
- It’s easier to start something new – i.e. another service, rather than remold an existing service.
- Pastors are called not just to their local church, but also to their community.
IV. What does Missional Worship Look Like?
- The main thing that needs to happen in missional worship is to discover the language (words and music) of your mission field.
- Most worship services are trying to do too much. The worship leader may have to cut things out to fit new things in.
- Worship leadership means talking about what you are doing. Tell them what you are going to do; do it; and tell them what you did.
- Have people from the congregation handle parts of the service.
- Praise & Worship model works well for younger church plant groups. Transitions in worship service are very important.
- Have a Hospitality Host, lay person welcome people. There should be one other person leading worship, in addition to the Pastor. Choir directors often do not see themselves as worship leaders. If it is a contemporary service it is usually the worship music leader who acts as Hospitality Host.
- Experience life outside of the church and bring that into worship.
- Authenticity is more important than being slick or polished.
- Spend time sharing what you are doing missionally in the community this past week is part of a discussion time.
How to Start a New Worship Service in an Existing Church is a five Week Online Course starting August 28, 2012.