Strategies for Worship Leading – WRSP 440

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This is a methods course that deals with strategic planning for worship ministry. Attention is given to principles for developing traditional, blended, and contemporary models for worship. Students will be required to organize and develop worship strategy for small, medium and large worship ministry.




With the emergence of a diverse and ever-changing worship culture, worship leaders must be equipped to sculpt creative and engaging worship services. This task has been complicated by the emergence of a consumer-driven mentality that has resulted in congregations being categorized by worship style (i.e., traditional, blended and contemporary). This modern worship culture has resulted in a necessity for modern worship leaders to develop a broad skill set in order to effectively function as worship leaders in the local church. This course will explore strategies for planning worship based on different style models and targeted at churches of various sizes. In addition, students will develop practical organizational methods applicable to ministries of all sizes and identities.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Articulate the need for strategic planning in the worship setting.
  2. Articulate and define the differences between traditional, blended, and contemporary models for worship.
  3. Create worship strategies for small, medium, and large ministries.
  4. Articulate the method of organization necessary for developing a worship strategy.
  5. Define the role of leading worship as it is related to various musical styles and ministry contexts.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

The student will participate in 4 Discussion Board Forums. The student will post his/her initial thread of 250 words or more. Then, he/she must reply to at least 3 peers’ threads in 150 words or more. The initial thread is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, and the replies are due by Monday of Modules/Weeks 1, 3, 5, and 7.

Reflection Essay

The student will read and react to a provided article in Module/Week 1. This Reflection Essay is 1 page in length and should briefly summarize the main thesis of the article, followed by 2–3 paragraphs outlining the student’s position and response. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 1.

Defining the Terms Essay

The student will write a 3-page essay defining the 3 major worship models: traditional, contemporary and blended (1 page for each model), as well as identifying specific characteristics of each. Content for this essay should be based on the reading and lectures. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 2.

Interview Project

Interview Proposal: Each student will choose a worship pastor to interview who is respected for his or her leadership ability. A template for this portion of the assignment will be provided in the assignment instructions folder. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 2.

Interview Questions: Each student will construct a set of 15–20 questions that the student will use in his/her individual interview. The purpose of the project is to discover how successful worship pastors organize their ministries and manage the worship planning process. The questions should focus on the following areas: worship style(s) used in the church; organizational structure of the
church’s worship ministry; the process for worship planning; instrumental forces used in the church’s worship services; rehearsal planning; and approach used for developing relationships with the church’s ministry. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 3.

Interview Paper: The interview should be conducted in Module/Week 4. After the interview, the student will write a 3–5 page summary and synthesis paper integrating the information from the interview with the course material. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 4.

Newsletter Project

The student will create a 1-page newsletter promoting their worship ministry using information from Chapter 6 of the Bradley text. Content should include: a creative title, a brief article from the worship leader, calendar of events, and promotion of an upcoming event. Other information from the chapter can be used to complete the newsletter. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on
Monday of Module/Week 3.

Sunday Worship Planning Project

The student will develop 3 orders of worship based on the following worship models: traditional, contemporary and blended. Each order must be constructed using the template provided in the Assignment Instructions folder within the course and must exhibit some of the elements appropriate for each service type as articulated on the “Service Style Chart” also posted in the course. This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 6.

6-Month Worship Schedule

Using the “6-Month Worship Schedule Template” posted within Blackboard, the student will develop a 6-month plan for weekly musical elements including those used in a worship service. Things to include are preludes, offertories, choir anthems, soloists, drama, video and worship team features. This project should include specific titles and should reflect a wide range of vocal and instrumental forces (choir, ensembles, soloists, orchestra, band, instrumental soloists, drama, video features, etc.). This assignment is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.

Final Paper

The student will submit a 12–15-page paper summarizing and discussing course content. This paper will cover the following major topics: the Centrality of a Call to Ministry, Summaries and Characteristics of the Traditional, Contemporary, and Blended Worship Models, Building Your Worship Ministry Team, High Impact Organization, Specific Strategies for Worship Planning, and the Art of Relationships. The Final Paper is due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.