WorshipGod11 is only two months away. One of the 40 seminars being offered (4 in Spanish!) is by Jamie Brown, a good friend who leads the worship in song at The Falls Church, an Anglican church in Northern Virginia.
Jamie will be addressing the topic “Thinking Surgically While Leading Liturgically.” His specific burden is to encourage people who serve in the context of a traditional liturgy to lead with faith. I asked Jamie a few questions about his session.
What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message?
It can be discouraging and frustrating to lead worship in a liturgical church. I hope this seminar relieves some of that frustration, and encourages worship leaders to go back home with some hope and excitement at what God can do through them even in the constraints of a formal liturgy.
How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
I have only ever attended and led worship in an Anglican church. I know firsthand that leading worship in this setting can feel like trying to paint in a straight jacket. I’ve seen dead, robotic services where heartless hymn singing is the norm and contemporary songs are the enemy. I’ve also seen God melt hearts of stone and use music as a surgical tool to help people encounter God in vibrant worship.
Can you expound on one point that you’ll be making in your message?
Great chefs have learned, through years of experience, how to work with a recipe, mixing all the different ingredients and making some adjustments, to present something that feeds and satisfies. Worship leaders, especially in liturgical churches, have a lot of ingredients and recipes to juggle. If the “recipe” owns them – the meal is going to be stale and bland. If they get comfortable and familiar enough to own the recipe – to know where they can make adjustments and where they can’t – then the final product can be more edifying. And edible.
How are people best going to be served by coming to this seminar?
For years I left these kind of conferences thinking “those were amazing times of corporate worship. Too bad my church can’t experience that.” I hope worship leaders will leave this seminar thinking “my congregation can experience more of this than I thought”.
Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
Many liturgical churches do Psalm 46:10 really well (“Be still, and know that I am God…”). They might be surprised that two verses later, in Psalm 47:1 they’re encouraged to: “Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!” By thinking surgically and leading carefully, prayerfully, and biblically, you can help your congregation grow in their expression of heartfelt, Christ-centered, Sprit-filled worship.
There’s still a month left to sign up for WorshipGod11, but if you’re planning on coming I’d suggest you get on it. We just raised the cap for attendance, but seminars are starting to fill up. You can register here.