Refelctions from a new Lay Worship Leader…
Through out the whole of my life, I have always started projects in the middle.
As a child, if I was reading a series of books, I found myself starting at number 3 in the series. When there are new things to learn, I will start in at the deep end, not through choice you understand, but it seems that it is just the way things work out. So as not to break the habit of a lifetime, I began this Lay Worship Leader course halfway through.
As I have now retired from full time peripatetic music teaching (they tell me it’s curable!), I knew that I wanted more, and that God, through The Holy Spirit, was urging me onwards to pastures new. As a consequence, I enquired about this course but was told that it had already started, and I had to wait. Well, patience is not one of my strengths, but I resigned myself to “missing the boat” and promptly forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise and delight, when I received an E mail, to say that as the course sessions were slightly disrupted due to different combinations of people attending each session, the course leader, Jeff Waring (lovely person), had agreed to take anybody still wishing to attend, so I took my opportunity.
My first session was number 5, which was The Daily Office. For anyone like me who is on the go and has no time for one reason or another, the Church of England website is literally a godsend. The Daily Office magically appears on the page and the user can start and end the day (and the middle) with the suggested prayers, readings and psalms, without having to look everything up. The book of Common Worship is good and has everything, but sometimes I find it a bit of a minefield. I now look forward to re-starting my relationship with God each day, instead of dreading ploughing through excellent but (for myself, a beginner) not user-friendly books.
I knew absolutely nothing about psalms let alone how to sing them. Now I happily stand in front of a congregation to lead the responses.
There were ten sessions in all, together with a 150-page handbook, which I highly recommend. These included understanding worship, traditions, the Christian year, leading in worship and music. Also a session on resources, because it is very important to consider the style of worship according to the congregational needs.
I learnt so much so quickly. As in all walks of life, knowing the answer to a question straight away, is not entirely necessary, as long as one knows where to find the answer. Our sessions, together with the large handbook, provide an excellent foundation.
This course has helped me in increasing my understanding of how to worship, and most importantly learning that our aim is to bring the congregation closer to God, using the skills given to us, in the space provided.
The title of Lay Worship Leader is helpful to me as I am a highly skilled instrumental teacher and I am an authority on teaching these aspects of music, but I have not been in authority in the forum of church worship. I have always, up until now, had great difficulty in accepting poor standards of “performance” in music, and struggled with those around me. I now, finally, accept that the worship of God consists of the best we have to offer. To do the best we can in the circumstances given is all God asks of us.
With the title of Lay Worship Leader, and the help of God, I am now able to reconcile these differences both on a personal level, and a level on which I can help others on a similar path in the forum of our church.
I find that this brief but illuminating Lay worship Leader course was tailor made for me, and has given me the confidence to put into practise what is closest to my heart, that is, reconciling music with worship.
We can do nothing without God.
Lyndy was commissioned as a Lay Worship Leader in March 2017 – if you want to know more about this ministry, follow this link