Hey, guys!  Our church is hosting a one-day Worship Conference this summer.  We will play a few sets of p&w, have breakfast and lunch, and have 4 (1-hour-ish) seminar sessions - 3 of which will be taught/facilitated by our guest speaker Robin Mark (of Days of Elijah, etc. fame).  One of the sessions will be "our own" and is called "Local Teams, Local Expressions."  We are going to be ephasizing the need for the local church to have a unique identity - (focusing on the music/p&w team's role, of course).  I would love to have some input from you all, especially if you have any suggestions in the way of interacting with the conference-goers.  Hope this make some sense!

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Have a class on writing songs.  IMO every congregation of any size should have at least one person capable of writing unique songs.  Do a lab session where they break up into teams and each write a short chorus.

Thanks for the suggestion, David.  This session is #3 of 4.  The one after this is a songwriting session by RM, so they should go together nicely.  Also, the music/P&W after the sessions are done will be songs written by our team members.

We're a traditional mainline denomination in the Blue Ridge mountains, so I don't know how our "local" will mesh with yours, but here's some of what we do:

A tornado took out a hunk of our town last April and our church was very active (still is) in the relief and rebuilding efforts.  2 of our talented youth created an excellent PowerPoint montage on the relief efforts and played a piano and flute duet for it.

We in the Praise band work at being a backing band, so that individual church members can sing or play sax or trumpet or trombone or flute or clarinet ... for certain songs or certain Sundays.  Yes, this involves the middle school and high school kids, but you'd be surprised the "grownup" bandies you can coax into playing.  When we did "Saints Go Marching" and the musical set for All-Saints day, we had 40-somethings on trumpet and trombone who hadn't played in bands for decades.

We were also able to have a multi-lingual Pentecost service last week by backing (and including) members of our Hispanic service on the platform.  This allowed the high moment of "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" done in English by 7 ESL students (classes held in and sponsored by our church) and then each took a verse in native dialects (Cantonese, Portugese, 2 Mayan Guatemalan dialects, Spanish & Mandarin).  Every song was projected in English and Spanish, with the special in all of the languages as sung.

Due to our local preference, we sometimes intentionally tack toward bluegrass and southern gospel (not my own preference, I assure you, but "all things to all people") and will add banjo and mandolin players from the congregation or community.

We have 3 teens who have taken dance for years.  They will bring their advanced class and dance "Praise You In the Storm" or other selections -- always very well received.  The littlest kids will sing "My Deliverer Is Coming" or "Step By Step" by Rich Mullins with us.  They'll also play choir chimes & bells and will dance and pantomime songs.

We travel as a band and praise team.  Since you'll get a classic rock overflow when you put us old guys in a band and allow jamming after practice, we export that to clubs, parks and other gathering spots, playing both secular and spiritual music.  We also provided praise & worship music and a PowerPoint show to engage and evangelize during our semi-annual Community Clothing Closet in our family life center/worship area.  That's who we are as a church, that's what we do, and the attendees were not only grateful, but some have come to our service since.

To summarize, worship is not just what you sing or play, it's a Roman's 12 thing.  We interweave our church's missional and evangelistic activities into our services and outside our walls to declare what the Lord is doing among us and through us.

Perfect.  Love this, Hank!


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