Free Worship Planning Pages!

Each worship service that I have ever planned or lead has always started with an outline or set of planning pages so all the important elements were organized in one place.  It really helped to keep things focused and made worship design go so much smoother.

With collaborative worship planning becoming more popular it's even more important to have a starting point for worship design.  It helps keep your meetings focused and give your new worship group members a good jumping off point for worship planning.  Customizable worship planning pages for both contemporary and traditional worship settings are the answer.

I am excited to share with you my Worship Planning Pages for both Contemporary and Traditional worship settings.  I have taken my 10+ years of worship planning experience in the United Methodist Church and designed my own dream worship planning pages.  Each set of planning pages is a Google Docs document that is available for download from the links below. 

I have also included a summary of the headings list for each set of planning pages.  I have based the worship elements of each set of planning pages from the basic worship outline included in the United Methodist Hymnal and then tweaked it a bit for modern worship. 

I can't wait to hear from all of you and see how you have used these Worship planning pages in your church's next worship meetings.  

Contemporary Worship Planning Sheet  (click to download)

Contemporary Setting Worship Planning Sheet.odt

Contemporary Setting    Worship Planning Sheet

Date, Sunday, Sermon Series or Theme, Color, Visual Focus, Music Leader, Worship Leader, Prayer Leader

 The People Gather
Opening Prayers & Praise: 

Opening Songs                                                     
 Proclamation and Response
Prayer Songs                                                      
Scripture Selection (s
Message Title
Drama or Video
Special Music/ Offering                                          
Communion Songs
 Sending Forth
Closing Songs

Traditional Worship Planning Sheet   (click to download)

Traditional Setting Worship Planning Sheet.odt

Traditional Setting    Worship Planning Sheet

Date, Sunday, Sermon Series or Theme, Color, and Visual Focus
 The People Gather
Opening Prayers & Praise
Opening Hym
 Proclamation and Response
Prayer of Illumination
        First Lesson
        Second Lesson
        Gospel Lesson
Response to the Word
Prayers of the People
Prayers of Confession, Pardon and Peace
Communion Setting
Communion Hymns                                             
 Sending Forth
Closing Hymn   


Worship Music Q & A: Theology of Worship

What is your theology of worship?

Worship is fundamentally about God, then about our relationship with God, and then finally about us. We gather in community by the grace of the Holy Spirit with the powerful intention to worship our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our worship is to be full of dynamic, meaningful, and relevant experiences to honor and praise God. 

Corporate worship should be a thoughtful celebration. Everything we do should bring you back to that God-centered focus. 

  • Our music helps people come to God and sing his praises. 
  • Our scripture readings allow people time to think and contemplate God. 
  • Our time of spoken prayer and silent reflection helps us to center our minds on God's presence in our lives and in our church and meditate on that relationship. 
  • The message of the day brings the scriptures to life so that we can better understand God's personal message for each of us and the biblical history that has come before us. 

We come to worship to be with God and to participate and connect in as many ways possible. We are called to use new emerging technologies and new ways of expression as they become available so our worship is relevant to our culture and to our time.


Video of the Week: "I Surrender All"

"I Surrender All" has become my own personal mantra for the past few weeks.  Out of all the songs that I know it is the one that keeps coming back to my mind.  I have taken it as a personal God message and have kept it close to my heart.  Here is a stirring rendition by The Isaacs.  Enjoy! 

"I Surrender All" By The Isaacs


Worship Music Q & A: Quality Worship Ministry

What in your opinion would be the key elements of a quality Worship Ministry? 
I believe it's in the church's best interest to have strong, consistent leadership in the area of worship arts so that our churches can grow and develop strong disciples. Our worship ministries need to be as varied as our communities are so we can best serve the people around us. Prayer and planning with a strong collaborative spirit are essential to any quality worship ministry. As well as mentor-ship programs to nurture new musicians and worship leaders.

Taking care of and adequately supporting our worship ministry participants, paid or volunteer is also a high priority. We would work to cultivate worship and music excellence with our worship leaders, praise band instrumentalists, praise chorus members and lead vocalists. All while creating opportunities for children and youth to participate in meaningful ways.


Worship Music Q & A: New Series!

A few weeks ago I was asked to complete a written interview for a music and worship position for a large church in Missouri.  Some of these questions really got me thinking about my worship ministry and what my core beliefs are.

I decided to share my answers to some of the more thought provoking questions of the interview in the hopes of inspiring you to think about what you would have said in my place.  It never hurts to form your thoughts on paper and it gives what you do a deeper sense of purpose.

I was asked about my thoughts on the subjects of:

  • Quality Worship
  • Worship Theology
  • My Sense of Calling

Check back next week for this new Worship Music Q & A Series!


Quote of the Week: "Lord, our Lord..."

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth
You made your glory higher than heaven! 


Earworm Friday: "The Phone is Ringing" & "Fly Me to the Moon"

Welcome to "Earworm Fridays"!

Each Friday join me as we share the songs that we just couldn't get out of our heads this week.  Due to living with two small children five and under I get some pretty funny song combinations stuck in my head and this week is no exception.  Check out "The Phone is Ringing" from the Wonderpets and Diana Krall singing "Fly Me to the Moon".   

{If you are reading this post in an RSS Reader and don't see the video below please click over to my blog to view}

Wonderpets - "The Phone is Ringing"

Diana Krall - "Fly Me to the Moon"

Now it's your turn!
please link directly to your Earword post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find our post months from now.
Also, link back here so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals. Please do not link up to another meme that you have started. Thanks for your understanding.


Video of the Week: "Worship & Song"

Several years ago the United Methodist Church started the journey to update our hymnal that was published in 1989.  They had already released a supplement in 2000 called "The Faith We Sing" that had been quite successful and I have enjoyed using it for the last decade.  

Mostly due to the current economic climate, the committee for the new hymnal project as well as the United Methodist Publishing House announced that it wouldn't be economically viable to release a completely new hymnal at this time.  I was a little disappointed with this decision because I was looking forward to seeing a new hymnal in my lifetime but that didn't last long once I found out about "Worship & Song".

"Worship & Song" is an updated collection of 190 hymns and worship songs that include new hymns, old-time gospel and contemporary praise songs.  This collection also includes new worship resources designed to supplement The United Methodist Hymnal and other songbooks.  

I was thumbing through it for the first time a couple weeks ago and noticed that several of the praise and worships songs that my church was currently using in worship were included in this new supplement.  I also enjoyed the new prayers and liturgical elements.  I can't wait to get my own personal copy!

So, for this week's "Video of the Week" here's the official "Worship & Song" video.  Enjoy! 

"Worship & Song"


Tips for Classically Trained Pianist joining the praise band

I found this extremely helpful video when I was looking for pointers for playing piano in a praise band.  I come from a more traditional education so I have had to change my mindset when it comes to playing with my church's band.  Jared Anderson shares some extremely helpful tips for classically trained pianists making that transition and joining the contemporary worship team. Enjoy!


Music Job Search Series: And Now We Wait…

Through out this series I have covered Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Special Requests for Worship Musicians, and Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers. This next installment will list some of the things you can do while you wait to hear back from potential employers.

Give yourself a daily routine and cultivate healthy daily habits. Organize your morning to get a good breakfast and take care of yourself before you start your work for the day. Make a plan for each day that is doable and will help you feel successful.   

Keep current on your job alert emails. Make a list of all the jobs that you are going to applying for that day. I have a spreadsheet that I use to input all the information I need in one place.  

Talk to your referral network regularly and be on the look out for additional networking opportunities. Check regularly but don't spend all your day on facebook or linkedin. Give yourself an hour and set the timer. This is a place where I struggle and need to take my own advice. You will thank me later. 

Read something positive everyday to keep you motivated. I love a good quote and try to surround myself with bits of positive wisdom throughout the day.  

"Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night." 
~Terri Guillemets

Pray for guidance and discernment. Don't forget to pray and take your joys and concerns to God. You are looking for jobs in music ministry after all. A job search is an uncertain time in anyone's life and you don't have to go it alone. We all could use a little comfort and guidance right now. Take a minute right now to connect to God.

Send Thank you notes and/or emails after all interviews and referral opportunities to show your gratitude and appreciation. Here are a few thank you letter samples to get you started:
After Interview Thank You Email :: Job Interview Site

Interview Thank You :: Thank You Note Samples

Sample Thank You :: Job Search at About.com

Email Thank You Message Examples :: Job Search at About.com

Don't forget your devotional life. Find a new book or devotional that lifts your spirits. Make time for stillness and quiet.  I am currently reading Max Lucado's "Traveling Light" which is based on the 23rd Psalm.  It also has a  music component that is nice for us worship musicians.  

Keep learning and improving your skills. Take a music lesson, find a free webinar, check out new books from the library. These are just a few examples. There are tons of free resources on-line that you can use to keep your skills fresh. I have enjoyed a few free webinars from worshiptraining.com and many blog articles that have helped to keep me current. Stay active on your favorite music sites and post comments and questions. There are several great choices in the links list on the left hand side of this blog.

Make music whenever you can. Find opportunities to share your skills in music and worship, jam with friends, plan a recital or evening of music for a local fund raiser or event. And don't forget to practice. Pick up a new song you have always wanted to learn and spend time on it regularly. 
Tie up Loose ends in your life. Complete that filing project you never seem to get to. Plan that road trip you have always wanted to take. A few things on my personal list include enrolling to take my final class for church musician certification so I can move to the next step and making recordings of music that I have been working on to add to my musical resume. Once you get your dream music job you might not have time for awhile to get these projects done. So, don't wait!  Now is the time to work on your list. 
Try something new! Have you always wanted to learn to knit or learn another language? You might want to try a new experience or hobby right now. Broaden your horizons and learn a new craft or skill. 

Through out this series I cover Job Searching, Resumes, Cover Letters, Special Requests for Worship Musicians, Selling Yourself to Prospective Employers, and what to do while you wait.   


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