The Worship Quote of the Week for (01/09/2001):

Lay Worship Leaders
Are your church's worship services planned and lead entirely by ministry
professionals; or is there input and participation by lay people as well?
Today's WORSHIP QUOTE deals with lay leadership in corporate worship.

The growth of lay worship leaders has arguably been one of the most sweeping
liturgical changes of the past century. This can be very good-a way for
congregations to take ownership of worship, a way to express the "priesthood
of all believers." This works best when lay leaders are committed students of
Scripture, when they are the kind of people who are eager to attend a worship
conference, or read a new book on worship. It doesn't work so well when
leaders lack a taste for such things. In fact, many worship leaders can't
name a single book on the theology of worship. Most denominations (admirably)
require preachers to pursue rigorous seminary studies before preaching. Yet
we require of worship leaders only that they be willing to attend a single
rehearsal or committee meeting. We would do well to lovingly challenge our
worship leaders to grow in the knowledge and love of God.

- John Witvliet, "Discerning the Spirits: Making Wise Choices in an Era of
Liturgical Change," Reformation & Revival: A Quarterly Journal for Church
Leaders, Volume 9, No. 2, Spring 2000, p. 18. For subscription information,
contact (888) 276-1044, or go to Volume 9, Nos. 2 & 3 are
dedicated entirely to "Restoring True Worship" (highly recommended).

John Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship at
Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, Michigan),
where he teaches courses on worship, systematic theology, and music. For
information on conferences, worship renewal grants, and a host of
worship-related resources, visit January 12-13, 2001
is the Institute's annual Symposium on Worship and the Arts (highly

Read a book. Attend a conference. Take a course.

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky