Twenty guys, primarily from Sovereign Grace churches, came together from Wednesday night through Sunday lunch to be equipped to lead congregational worship more effectively. It was a pretty diverse group, ranging in age from 19 to 54, and coming from Australia, the Bahamas, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, New England, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. Only two were full time pastors. The rest served as volunteers.
We met for twelve 90 minute sessions, each containing:
- 15-20 minutes of one guy leading us in song and Scripture
- 25-30 min. of me teaching material adapted from my book, Worship Matters
- 25-30 minutes of conversation
While it was a demanding schedule, each section lasted about 30 minutes. And we laughed a lot along the way.
The primary purpose of the intensive was to do a dry run for a series of videos I’ll be recording in a few weeks. But we’re already talking about offering an intensive next summer, if not before.
Benefits to a Live Context
There were a number of things I appreciated about the intensive:
- Every guy was able to lead and receive immediate encouragement and evaluation. We recorded each session so guys can watch themselves leading when they get home.
- We covered a wide variety of topics related to heart, theology, skills, and relationships, with twenty guys weighing in and offering perspectives.
- The Holy Spirit revealed God’s presence in spontaneous impressions, prayers, and fellowship.
- The Holy Spirit revealed God’s presence as we continued to proclaim the word of God and the gospel to each other.
- Different men responded humbly as pride was exposed, Christ was exalted, and grace rushed in.
- Every guy not only led us, but also served as lyric projectionist for someone else, strengthening their empathy for those who run the lyrics in their church.
After we post the Worship Matters video series on Vimeo, I plan to continue to offer the intensive, primarily for the benefits I listed above. I’m more persuaded than ever that planning and leading Sunday services is matter of faithfulness, not flashiness. And every week we have the opportunity to point God’s people away from the empty promises of this world and towards God’s unsearchable riches of grace in Jesus Christ. What a joy.
If you’d like to be kept in the loop regarding future intensives, just send me an email through the Contact tab above.