For the third year, Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church is inviting members of churches to take part in peer groups in which they have a chance to learn about, discuss, and develop a vision for how best to go about leading and planning worship in their congregations.
About 100 people from 30 or so churches have joined groups of three to five persons each over the past two years to take part in this process.
Diane Dykgraaf, worship coordinator for Worship Ministries, said the groups for 2017-2018 are just starting and that there is still time to form a group.
“These groups can be made up of individuals from the same or different churches, meeting in person or electronically, to study one of the year's chosen books,” she said.
Worship Ministries offers different books each year to support learning in particular areas during the 10 months that the groups meet. Here are the books for this year (each participant can choose one for free):
- Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders, by Greg Scheer
- You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, by James K. A. Smith
- The Church of All Ages: Generations Worshiping Together, Howard Vanderwell, editor; essays by nine writers—pastors, teachers, worship planners
Attendees and leaders have found the peer groups to be a good source of learning, support, and encouragement. Comments from previous group leaders:
- “The study and discussion opens our minds up to new ideas, thinking outside of the box,” says Cindy Gritters from Pella, Iowa.
- “One surprise benefit was the prayer support and care extended to one another in the group,” said Pastor Joe Hamilton from Thunder Bay, Ont.
“Ask a few people to join you—either from other churches in your community or your own church,” said Dykgraaf.
To get started, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Dykgraaf at 616-224-0727.