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Spirited Music and Worship - Issue #101

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Worship at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, Tennessee, is certainly spiritual and spirit-filled, but it is also spirited. There is life, vitality, and energy in worship and music that are attributable to more than music selection and better than average musicians. Anne Hook, Minister of Music and Worship, offers three reasons for the congregation's spirited worship:

  • The staff and leaders, especially the preaching and worship staff, recognize that they all have different individual gifts they bring to worship planning and leading. They work to include all those gifts in a shared, complementary whole so that there is great freedom and variety in worship, always shaped and unified by Scripture and season.

  • The choir sees its function as pastoral rather than performance. The members are engaged in music ministry, individually praising God while they are mindful of their role as worship leaders and prompters. Worship music as performance and singers as prima donnas are not allowed. One important pastoral aspect of their ministry is to be present and sing at funerals in the church.

  • Those engaged in the choirs and music ministry of Franklin UMC also participate in missions and ministry outside the walls of the church. The choirs provide funds to support a college student in Nicaragua, and they make a yearly mission work trip there. The choir vigorously embraces and supports the Rev. Hook's calling as a deacon to connect the church's worship to the world.

The staff and choirs of Christ UMC fervently seek the presence and leading of the Spirit as they prepare and lead worship that is spiritual, Spirit-filled, and spirited.

Some Questions for Discussion

  • What are the unique gifts that each member of your worship team brings to worship planning and leading? How are those gifts being used?

  • How would the members of your choir describe their purpose? Do they understand their role as primarily pastoral or performance?

  • What opportunities are there for music and worship groups within your congregation to engage in ministry outside the congregation?

Dean McIntyre is Director of Music Resources at the Discipleship Ministries. He may be reached at [email protected].

In 2007 church leaders throughout The United Methodist Church in the U.S. were invited to identify churches that demonstrated the vision of discipleship described in the twelfth chapter of Romans. Over 200 churches were surveyed or visited. Issue #101. © 2011 Discipleship Ministries. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy this page for use in United Methodist congregations.