NASHVILLE, Tenn. Feb. 7, 2018 /Discipleship Ministries/ – The new Lent worship resources produced by Discipleship Ministries include complete services, presentation graphics, a companion small group study, a podcast series and sermon helps around the theme Rehab. The resources are designed to help churches develop disciples in a comprehensive way.
Both the worship planning series, which includes guidance materials for services on Ash Wednesday and the Sundays leading to Holy Week, and the five-week group study are available online. Podcasts designed for worship and small group participants will also be available each week.
“The overarching theme of Rehab coordinates with what Lent is designed to do, which is to put people through a process of intensive formation for baptism or a deeper walk with Christ,” said Taylor Burton-Edwards, Director of Worship Resources at Discipleship Ministries.
The Rehab planning series can be downloaded at http://bit.ly/2EbEaWC. The companion study, which can be used in midweek formation groups during Lent or anytime during the year, is available for free download or for purchase in paperback at http://bit.ly/2nGDZs5.
The Rehab series will segue into the Holy Week worship series and the Easter worship series, which will also be available online at http://bit.ly/2FLnoe1.
Discipleship Ministries provides worship leaders with quality United Methodist music, liturgy and preaching resources, like the Lent series, for faithful and vital local church worship. The worship planning resources include order of worship, preaching notes, hymn suggestions, music notes, planning notes, and graphics and resources.
The resources are prepared by Burton-Edwards, Dawn Chesser, Director of Preaching Ministries, and Jackson Henry, Director of Music Ministries.
“Basically, we're functioning as a worship planning team, modeling the kind of work that we hope local congregations are doing by forming their own worship planning teams,” Burton-Edwards said. “We are able to collaborate with others in Discipleship Ministries, and beyond the agency, to develop additional resources.”
An example of the collaboration is the Rehab group study, which was prepared by Craig Kennet Miller, Director of Pastoral Leadership, with contributions from Scott Hughes, Director of Adult Discipleship, Jacqui King, Director of Leadership for Congregational Vitality, Burton-Edwards, Chesser and Henry.
“Rehab: A Group Study is designed to allow worship participants an opportunity to gather in small groups to share their insights based on the theme and the scripture used each week of the series,” Miller said. “It is recommended that the small groups be offered during the week after each worship service. Many churches will use the study for their Wednesday evening or other midweek or small group programing.”
Another resource to help churches initiate small groups, 9 Ways to Start Small Groups using Rehab: A Study Guide, was prepared by Hughes and is available online at http://bit.ly/2BZQS5i.
The podcasts, hosted by Miller, will take the Rehab themes even deeper with comments and insights offered by Leadership Ministries staff and pastors of leading edge churches. They will be posted on the Thursday before each worship service in Lent on the Discipleship Ministries blog at https://blog.umcdiscipleship.org.
Discipleship Ministries’ goal is to provide United Methodist congregations with good examples of sermons, worship and music that are based on the weekly readings from the Revised Common Lectionary so churches can use them as needed in their local context, Burton-Edwards said.
“The feedback we're getting is that folks really, really appreciate the fact that we're putting the worship resources together as a coherent package – music, preaching and planning.” Burton-Edwards said.
Henry said people have told him they appreciate the depth of the worship resources that are being made available.
“When they say ‘depth,’ what I actually understand them meaning is more cohesiveness, more thematic quality, more imagery-based, but that it’s still rooted in strong Methodist theology,” Henry said.
Taken together, the worship materials, the study guide and the podcast are designed to take people through a spiritual journey that moves them to make commitments for personal and congregational transformation.
The mission of Discipleship Ministries is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, Discipleship Ministries is located at 1908 Grand Ave. in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit www.UMCdiscipleship.org, the Press Center at www.UMCdiscipleship.org/about/press-center or call the Communications Office at (877) 899-2780, Ext. 1726.
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