[Church of England] Worship4Today - a course for worship leaders and musicians, successfully tried and tested in the Diocese of Sheffield over several years - is being rolled out nationally from this week.
Compiled by Helen Bent and Liz Tipple, Worship4Today: Part 1: Laying a Firm Foundation tackles the priorities identified in the Liturgical Commission's Consultation of Evangelical Anglicans: a need for theological training for songwriters and worship leaders in local churches, and for musical training and effective formation in worship leading for ordinands. Trialed in 100 churches, it has already been the catalyst for new church services, a new congregation and two new children's choirs, and provided an essential boost for many flagging choirs and music groups.
The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, said: "The ordering and leading of worship when the church is gathered is absolutely vital for the health and vitality of the church when we are dispersed throughout the week. The Worship4Today course is a vital resource to train and equip leaders of worship in a mission-shaped church. I have been particularly encouraged by the way in which the course encourages people to use their different gifts and builds up the confidence of those who are initially very hesitant in this ministry."
The Revd Christopher Woods, the National Worship Adviser, said: "The Church needs an energising and enlivening course to enable God's people to be led in sensitive and transformative worship. The success of Worship4Today as a local, diocesan resource has already been proven in many places, and so the benefit of having it available as widely as possible in a published form cannot be overstated."
Co-author Helen Bent said: "Worship feeds us. It brings us healing and restoration. In worship, we encounter God and we are slowly transformed into his likeness. The deeper we go, the greater the transformation. As we look back over the centuries, so many life-changing things have grown out of worship, such as schools, the abolition of slavery, the hospice movement, so who knows what will grow next?"
Published by Church House Publishing, Worship4Today: Part 1: Laying a Firm Foundation