Worship leaders can now pursue further equipping through three training options offered in partnership between N.C. Baptists, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and Fruitland Baptist Bible College.
The training provides worship leaders with the understanding and tools to overcome spectatorship and renew transformative worship among congregations. Designed for worship leaders with little or no formal training, or experienced leaders looking for a fresh set of resources, tracks include undergraduate and graduate certificates issued by accredited schools.
Participants will learn how to plan engaging services, prepare worship teams to lead well, select the best songs for worship, plan and implement smooth transitions and more. All tracks begin with a three-day “worship leader boot camp” retreat. The first will be offered in July.
David Lambert, worship pastor at Dillon Road Baptist Church in Jamestown, first went to a worship leader boot camp to help their church choir. A few years later, he attended a second after a decline in choir membership and the loss of their pianist.
“Not only did it help me to motivate my choir, I was helped spiritually as well,” he said.
The track options are as follows: A worship leader boot camp, a three-day immersive experience using a newly updated and expanded curriculum; basic certificate in worship leadership through Fruitland Baptist Bible College; and a graduate worship class, which is a part of a graduate certificate in worship ministry through SEBTS.
Terry Rogers, a music director from Chesterfield, S.C., had served his church for more than 40 years as a volunteer director.
“I was beginning to feel I was outdated and perhaps time to retire from the ministry, even though I had not felt God’s calling to do so. But I felt very inadequate with all the changes in music, technology and resources,” Rogers said. “The Extreme Boot Camp I attended gave me so many resources that I could use and allowed me to go back and make the most improvements in my church’s worship experience that I had in many years.”
Bryan Foster, minister of music at Faith Baptist Church in West End, had experience and knowledge in music when he started in music ministry in the late 1990s, but said he was “naive to how leading worship was supposed to be.”
“Like most, I thought I could just show up on Sundays, pick up a hymnal, pick the songs I knew and wing it from there. But I always thought there was something more.”
He said the program taught him the spiritual aspects of preparing for worship and the mechanics of how to lead effectively and help others engage “in a true spirit of worship.”
N.C. Baptist Worship Ministries Strategist Kenny Lamm hopes the training will help leaders take worship “to the next level and experience worship renewal.” He also hopes it will equip more leaders who are interested in bivocational worship ministry to become available and prepared to serve churches.
“This is a huge key to revitalizing the local church,” Lamm said.
The training will use the 7th edition of the Worship Leader Handbook.
“This revision represents the largest change yet to stay relevant to worship in churches today,” said Lamm.
There are several training dates available at Caraway Conference Center in Sophia, Truett Conference Center in Hayesville and N.C. Baptist Assembly in Oak Island. Costs vary between tracks.