Can Worship Teams Actually Work in Small Congregations?

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Absolutely! Even if your congregation doesn’t think it has the right stuff. Even if you are exhausted and can’t take on one more thing. Worships Teams can make your life easier—and your worship transformative—especially in small settings.

Here’s the key:  worship design teams at small congregations need to work differently than those at big places.  Set aside your expectations for weekly meetings, scripting, and rehearsing. Small settings need a different, flexible model.  Like making stone soup (remember that folk story?) rather than following a detailed recipe.

Your job is not setting up a team of experts to produce a year’s worship events. Instead, it’s diagnosing the gifts/interests of your congregation and community then unleashing them.  How? First, create a one-page vision sheet for the month–with a scripture and simple theme for each week. Keep it simple. The vision is more like an anchor than a detailed blueprint. And it always includes an implicit, playful invitation: What could we do with this?

Then invite a few people to take on specific tasks. Just for that month. Ask them to help imagine one specific dimension of worship–like altar arts, drama, children’s worship.

Here are some questions to get you started
Is there an avid photographer in your congregation or community? Challenge him/her to capture each theme in one picture?

Does your local high school have talented actors, musicians, dancers or artists? How could you invite their gifts for a month—and simultaneously practice hospitality and thanks-giving?

Do you know painters, potters or flower arrangers who could practice their art during the service, interpreting worship?

Whose home is always thoughtfully decorated? Could they interpret the scripture and theme for the chancel area?

Treat them all as valued partners in creating something new. They are not producers, but something far more powerful and formative: co-creators of worship.

Want more information on shaping a worship design team for your congregation? Contact Teresa for an upcoming workshop or consultation.