Retreat helps music ministers refocus
    January 27 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

    Before jumping into the nuts and bolts of how to prepare for a worship service, the reason for worship had to be explained, for this reason helps set the course for all of life.

    “We were created to worship God,” said Kenny Lamm. “When we choose to worship something less than God we abandon our reason for living, and suddenly we reduce our lives to less than God intended them to be.”

    Lamm, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) senior consultant for worship and music, explained to those attending the Music Minister’s Retooling Retreat Jan. 21-22 that only when they understand the theology of worship will they will be able to truly help lead others in a meaningful worship experience.

    BSC photo

    Kenny Lamm leads a Music Minister's Retooling Retreat.

    “The issue is not that the quality of worship needs to improve — it’s that the object of our worship needs to improve,” Lamm said.

    People often, whether they intend to or not, worship something other than God, from celebrities and money to relationships and security. Worshippers of God spend time in His presence and demonstrate a lifestyle of worship.

    “Worshippers spend the entire day with their spirits on the Lord, conscious of giving Him praise,” Lamm said.

    Worship leaders with a right understanding of personal worship understand more fully the value of corporate worship. They recognize that their role in corporate worship is to help lead, or prompt, others in worship; they are not the main attraction.

    A congregation is not the audience — God is the audience.

    Lamm said a right model of corporate worship stresses major participation from the audience or congregation, a “welcome corrective to the situation in many churches in which the people take their seats, drop some coins in the offering, sit back and expect to be entertained and edified by the choir, the special music and the interesting sermon.”

    The question of which style of worship to adopt, whether traditional, contemporary or blended, is a question many congregations are struggling to answer. Lamm reminded participants that these discussions often never move beyond the issue of personal preference. “We assume people with different preferences are wrong and we equate our preferences with God’s preferences,” he said.

    After laying the groundwork for a theology of worship Lamm turned his attention to worship leadership. Worship leaders must see themselves as servants who seek to bless God and who help others do the same. Worship leaders must remember that God’s grace is the foundation of worship and His glory is the goal of worship. A worship team must be committed to doing all they do with excellence, and to think of themselves as “skillful artisans” who use their creativity to help others experience God’s mercy and grace in new ways.  

    Lamm explained 10 ways to improve worship leading, such as studying under other worship leaders, understanding the importance of worship in the Bible, working with the pastor, and learning to communicate well with the congregation.  Lamm then spent the rest of the weekend helping music ministers learn practical ways to retool the music and worship experience for their church. A worship team was also present to help with demonstrations and modeling various musical techniques. Topics covered included:
    • Songs for worship: How to properly select music for a congregation
    • Worship Formats: Understanding varying worship styles
    • Worship Mechanics: Linking songs, key relationships, thematic considerations, worship flow, making a plan, use of instrumentalists
    • Practice of Corporate Worship: Practical insights to help all team members, from musician to tech team
    Five one-day boot camps, the first scheduled for next month, will also address topics covered in the retreat. All worship leaders, whether full-time, part-time, bivocational or volunteer, are invited to attend the boot camps.

    The boot camps will be held:
    • February 5: Oakmont Baptist Church, Greenville
    • March 26: Arran Lake Baptist Church, Fayeteville
    • April 9: Grove Park Baptist Church, Burlington
    • May 7: Front Street Baptist Church, Statesville
    • May 21: Fruitland Baptist Bible Institute, Hendersonville
    For more information visit

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    1/27/2011 5:03:00 PM by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

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