Pastor Buddy Champion was joking, but his humor hinted at a truth worship leaders know all too well.
“We have people here who think every worship service ought to be the Bill Gaither Hour,” he said. “It’s too loud; it’s too quiet; too much bass; there’s not enough bass.
“We even had a guy the other day complaining about learning new songs. He told the whole Bible study, ‘I hate learning new songs.’ That was me, by the way,” he quipped, bringing laughter from those gathered at First Baptist Church Trussville on Sept. 28 for this year’s LIFT! Defining Worship Conference.
Tools and tips
The annual event organized by the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions office of worship resources has the goal of helping leaders get tools and tips for building participation and teamwork when it comes to church worship, while also giving participants an opportunity for personal worship — something they may seldom get to do wholeheartedly because they are so engaged in planning worship for others.
Personal worship is critical for leaders, however.
“When you are experiencing worship every day by yourself, then it’s going to show because the radiance of being in the presence of the Lord is contagious,” said Karen Gosselin, coordinator of the SBOM office of worship resources. “It’s kind of hard to replicate worship if you don’t do it.
The musical and technical components of planning a service can easily consume a worship leader’s time, Gosselin said.
“What I love about LIFT! is that we come together as worship leaders — pastors, music ministers, audiovisual leaders, youth ministers, children’s ministers, etc. — to worship as a team with no responsibilities and then breakout and learn logistical things,” she added.
“The greater benefit of this conference may be that you meet people with the same mindset, share ideas and gain a support system around you. It is a tremendous renewal and networking experience.”
The office of worship resources can help leaders who need assistance with planning and implementing music ministry for children, high school and college students, adults and senior adults, as well as for praise band/team ministry, worship revitalization, using audiovisual technology and much more, Gosselin said.
“We want to walk with you as you navigate your worship ministry needs in your churches,” she said.
The office coordinates several ministries and programs to provide music-focused opportunities in addition to those offered in the local church too, including statewide honors choirs for children and high school students, as well as Mix Music Camp in the summer.
Gosselin believes it’s important to involve young people in worship.
“There is nothing like watching students worship with all their mind, heart, soul, body and voice,” she said, adding that worship is a spiritual act that happens more than just on Sunday and during special events.
“Worship is acknowledging who God is and thanking Him for what He has done,” she said. “Worship is waking up in the morning with a special focus on Him, listening to Him as we read and study His Word and as we go through the day, remembering all that He has done for us. That’s when the overflow of worship happens around us!”
Contact Gosselin at email@example.com or 334-613-2318.
As part of the bicentennial celebration of the Alabama Baptist State Convention, a Multigenerational Choir and Orchestra will help lead in worship. Attendees who wish to participate can sign up here: alabamaworship.org/event/multigenerational-choir-and-orchestra (songs and listening tracks are available at this website).
Here are more details:
When: Tuesday evening, Nov. 14, 2023
Time: 5:00 p.m. Rehearsal; 6:00 p.m. Program
Where: First Baptist Church, Montgomery, during the annual state convention
305 S. Perry Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
*Must be in sanctuary by 5 p.m. sharp! Rehearsal time is very limited!*