Congregational Ministry – WRSP 421

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/06/2022

Course Description

This is a study of the worship leader's role in congregational worship practices within evangelical traditions. Key areas of interest include the reason the church worships corporately in local congregations, hindrances to corporate worship, understanding the congregation's worship language, the various responsibilities of the worship leader in relation to the congregation and worship team, and the essential elements of a corporate worship service. 

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

The need for qualified, trained, and equipped worship leaders for the evangelical church has never been greater. Today’s worship leaders are responsible for designing and developing ministries that will meet the diverse needs of their congregations. These responsibilities require understanding of the overall ministry within the evangelical community. Personnel secured to work in this diverse environment need to demonstrate an understanding of church administration, church leadership, and the role of teaching biblically-based worship in the lives of believers today. This course is essentially a culmination and synthesis of all online worship courses. This course is the bridge between vocational preparation and the actual role of the professional worship leader, emphasizing teaching worship, training worshippers, encouraging and edifying worshippers, evangelizing through worship, and promoting community within and through the worship ministry.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will complete 4 Discussions in this course. The student will post one thread of at least 250 words. For Discussion: Posting a Worship Blog, the student will post one video thread. The student must then post 2 replies of at least 50 words. For each thread, students must support their assertions with at least 2 scholarly citations in Turabian format. Each reply must incorporate at 1 scholarly citation in Turabian format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include textbooks, journal articles, theses/dissertations, and reputable websites.

Reflection Activity Assignments (8)

The student will reflect on readings from the Miller text, Worship Leaders: We Are Not Rock Stars and the Whaley text, Dynamics of Corporate Worship. Each week, the student will answer a “Reflection” question based on the textbook readings for that week. Each reflection question in the weekly assignment must be 100 – 150 words and each “Reflection” question must include at least 1 citation (total of two for the assignment) from the respective textbook in current Turabian format. This assignment should include a title page, footnotes, and bibliography.

Congregational Worship Language Assignments (2)

Interviews Assignment

The student will complete a research project beginning with an interview with a staff member from each of the following types of churches: a Church Plant (church was established less than five years ago), an Established Church (church was established more than twenty years ago), and a Mega Church (congregation size is greater than two thousand for a Sunday morning worship service). The staff member must be involved in the developing/leading of worship in his/her church (e.g. worship leader or senior pastor) from each of the congregations.  With the lectures on congregational worship in mind, research the congregation’s worship language. While in-person interviews are preferred, webcam (Skype, WebEx, etc.) interviews are permissible. The student will complete the Worship Ministry Interview Form in its entirety during the interview. Based on findings from the interviews, the student must write 2 pages documenting his or her discoveries as well as a 2-page comparative analysis of the 3 interviews, addressing the 4 specific items listed below:

  • A brief overview of the interview experience.
  • Compare the worship language of each congregation.
  • Compare the demographics.
  • Compare the stylistic practices and preferences.
  • Compare the theological emphasis of each congregation.

Current Turabian format must be used for this project, which should include a title page, footnotes, and bibliography.

Summary-Analysis-Reflection Assignment

After completing the interview and using the prescribed/completed Worship Ministry Interview Form, the student will write a 7-page narrative Summarizing, Analyzing, and Reflecting on his or her experience. This paper must be written in current Turabian format and include a Title page, Contents page, footnotes, and a bibliography. The completed Worship Ministry Interview Forms must be included as an appendix and do not count toward the page length requirement.

Capstone Project Assignments (2)

Outline Assignment

The student will select and evaluate 1 of 3 case studies, from the Capstone Project Case Studies document, that relate to a church and/or worship ministry.  Using the selected case study as source material, the student will complete the Capstone Project Outline Template. The student may also utilize the Capstone Project Example Case Study-Outline for assistance in how to pull necessary information from his or her particular case study.

Final Paper Assignment

Using the completed outline, case study, and the Capstone Project Final Paper Template, the student will write a 12-page narrative that contextualizes the cultural, demographic, and spiritual needs unique to the selected case study. The purpose of this narrative is to demonstrate the student’s understanding of how worship programming strategy is developed and implemented.  Current Turabian format must be used, which includes a Title Page, Contents, Body of Paper (12 pages), properly formatted footnotes, Bibliography, and Appendix. There must be at least 12 scholarly resources included in the bibliography: course materials, course lectures, worship presentations, textbooks, sermons, journal articles and online worship websites count as source materials.

Quizzes (4)

Each quiz will cover the biweekly readings of the Kauflin text, True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true/false questions, and have a 45-minute time limit.