Transitioning – Part 9 – Educate, Inform, Do It Constantly
As East City Church transitions its worship service to a unified style of worship (see links below for the previous parts in this “documentary”), they will need to help their congregation understand why the church is going through a change in its time of corporate worship. Conflict results most times in an absence of understanding why the church is experiencing change. It is imperative that members are aware of the biblical, missional, sociological, and other reasons that change is occurring. It is also important that the church be continually exposed to the fact that worship change is coming and why throughout the weeks leading up to the target date of the new service. I have several suggestions that will help guide ECC in this endeavor:
Hold and publicize a Worship Summit that would dig deep into worship issues mentioned above, bringing the whole congregation together to discuss the important issues related to corporate worship. This could be done in a series of assembling the church together during the Bible study hour, if applicable. It could be a special Sunday afternoon or Saturday event. Publicize the event weeks ahead encouraging all to attend.
Utilize the monthly newsletter to inform on what is coming and why ECC is making the change. Feel free to use the Biblical Recorder Renewing Worship short pieces on Kenny’s website.
Include weekly information in the bulletin.
Provide a link to a web page with information laying out the plan, supporting articles, etc.
Use the Worship Leadership Team to devise creative ways to help with education. Consider utilizing impacting drama or video to help inform the congregation.
Take advantage of the choir retreat and worship leadership team retreats to fully educate those groups.
Consider utilizing Bible study material on worship in small groups/Sunday School. This could be directly tied to the next point.
Preach a series on worship. So often, our congregations do not understand what worship is. Helping them with this understanding before the launch date will greatly help the transition.
Constantly remind people of where they are going and why. Speak about it every time the body gathers for worship. It is also important for ECC’s leadership to uplift the change in private conversations and in small group settings whenever possible.
What are some other ways you would suggest?
Kenny Lamm, senior consultant for worship and music for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, is a frequent worship conference leader with a strong focus on equipping leaders in North Carolina (USA) and Southeast Asia. His blog, Renewing Worship, features posts that explore ways to renew–impart new life and vigor to–the worship in the local church.