worship arts

How to Start a Worship Arts Team

How to Start a Worship Arts Team

The arts - whether it's music or dance or drama or visual - are a wonderful way to enhance the worship experience, engage the congregation, bring stories to life in new ways, and create meaningful, memorable experiences for all involved.

Related post: Integrating Visual Arts in Worship

The term "worship arts" means different things at different churches, but often times, it includes things like:

  • altar decorations
  • paraments
  • banners (including ribbon and streamers)
  • visual aids for worship
  • flower arrangements, wreathes, and other decorations
  • visual art
  • audio and visual technology
  • dance
  • drama

There's been an effort at my current church to incorporate more of these things into our worship services on a regular basis, so last year, I started a worship arts team.

5 Ideas for Creating Meaningful Lenten Services

5 Ideas for Creating Meaningful Lenten Services

Lent, as a season, is about reflecting, simplifying, cleansing. It’s about searching our hearts, forgiveness, and grace. It’s also about love and freedom and growth.

It’s a time we remember Jesus being tempted in the desert for 40 days (hence the reason Lent is 40 days long), teaching the people about God’s love and how we should love others, breaking bread with his disciples, and living out God’s will for his life.

In Lent, we refocus on the renewing waters of baptism, the cleansing river, the fountain of grace.

Some say that the Sundays in Lent are not counted as part of the 40 days; rather, they are considered celebration days or “little Easters" (source). But I think this is missing the point a little: Lent is a journey, a time of self-reflection and examination of the heart, a time when we invite God in to do the work of shaping us and molding us into His likeness.

It’s a process, and it takes time.

How can we create space for this in worship? How can we make this season more meaningful? How can we capture the quietness, the self-reflection, the invitation to come just as we are in our Lenten services? 

An Inside Look at My Worship Planning Process

An Inside Look at My Worship Planning Process

How do you plan a worship service? Where do you start?

It’s likely that the process looks different from church to church and worship planner to worship planner, but I thought it might be helpful to share an inside look at my worship planning process, from start to finish.

Before I do that, however, I want to share a few articles and resources that have been helpful to me:

UMC Discipleship - Worship Planning - sample orders of worship, sermon notes, hymn/song suggestions, and other resources (click “This Week’s Planning Resources” to see worship planning suggestions for each week)

A Single-Thread Worship Planning Model - an insightful look at integrated liturgy and the benefits of planning sermon series

The Nuts and Bolts of Worship Planning - "collected wisdom from 100 congregations"

Integrating Visual Arts in Worship

Integrating Visual Arts in Worship

There’s no denying it: We live in a visual age.

Statistics show that only 10% of people remember things they hear and only 20% remember things they read. But, a remarkable 80% of people remember things they see and do. (source)

Visuals play a huge role in how we learn and process information. Did you know that our eyes process visuals 60,000x faster than text? (source). Understanding the power of visuals and the role they play in our everyday lives is crucial to planning and creating meaningful, engaging worship services.

”The visual arts used in worship bring the gospel to life.” (source)

Modern worship is informed by a rich heritage, a collection of sacred symbols and icons, and tangible things like bread and wine. How can we integrate visuals into our worship services on a more regular basis? How can we depict the story of the gospel through art and media? How can we enhance the spoken Word, the prayers, the rituals, the music with visual art forms?