AN IDEA SWAP for a well-SPRING of new life in our services!

Heather Sorenson entered the church music industry in her twenties, and her name quickly became a welcomed fixture in the publishing world. Heather is hired by the largest and most respected publishers in the world, and her pieces remain at the top of Bestsellers lists and Editor’s Choice selections. 
Diversity is the characteristic that makes Heather somewhat of an anomaly in the industry: she easily maneuvers both the traditional and contemporary genres of Christian music, often combining the two for a unique blend that has become her artistic fingerprint. Initially recognized for her skill as a pianist, Heather is now known for her compositions in choral anthems, solo piano collections, and orchestrations. Her works are performed regularly at competitions, concerts, recitals, and churches worldwide. 
In the past several years, Heather has appeared multiple times at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Constitution Hall.
Although her career is sometimes on a big stage, Heather’s heart is leading the Church in worship, and she feels that her greatest calling is using her music to connect people with God. 
Years of experience as a church music administrator and music educator have proven to be invaluable experience, and teaching has become a large part of Heather’s ministry. She taught all elementary levels of music at Grace Academy of Dallas for 4 years, served as an adjunct music professor at Baylor University, and has served on many master class panels in piano and songwriting. Heather regularly is a guest speaker and conductor at churches across America, and leads scores of sessions each year at various worship conferences, schools, and universities. 
Heather makes her home in the Dallas, TX area with her beloved (and very vocal) beagle, Lucy.

Arguably, the two “deadest” Sundays of the year (with the exception of the entire month of Black Hole July), are the Sundays immediately following Christmas and Easter. The church administration is tired, and the music ministry personnel are even more tired. They (you) have spent countless hours on the church property in the past week with extra rehearsals and extra services.

On top of that, even though we all agree that worship services should never be a “bigger and better” comparison, it’s hard for our congregations to NOT notice the obvious absence of the full hand bell choir and orchestra, dramatic presentation, costumes, stage-set, 4 choir anthems, packed Sanctuary, and overall enthusiasm of the Sunday before. In spite of our best efforts, sometimes our services feel a little tired…..and understandably so. WE are tired.

So let’s start an idea exchange in the comments below! God is the God of Creativity, and our worship services should reflect that! I’d love to hear your thoughts on creative concepts that have breathed new life into your own services. It can be small contributions to the service – or it can be big ideas with big pay-offs. I’ll start with an idea or two, and then I’ll open the floor to you.

 

  1. A Service of Testimonies: Congregants LOVE to hear the God-journey of other congregants. I live a big chunk of my life on the road, and one thing I have learned is that everyone has a story. One of my favorite parts of traveling is listening to people’s life-stories. Not only are their stories fascinating, but they also encourage me in my walk with God. You may want to have an “open-mic” forum, but I would personally recommend hand-selecting your congregants several weeks ahead of time. Immediately following each testimony would be a time of worship, each song reinforcing the theme of the previous testimony. A testimony service not only takes the pressure off of tired pastoral/music administrators, but it builds church unity. People realize they are not alone in their struggles, and worship time has very specific, personal meaning.
  1. A service focusing on the Fine Arts. This one will obviously take some additional preparation, but the pay-off is big. Your local church is filled with creative beings who love to worship God with their unique talents! Find out what gifts are represented in your congregation, and then find ways to incorporate those gifts into the service. At one church in which I served, we had a Fine Arts Weekend. The services involved drama, sign language, music, videography, and as many other fine arts we could appropriately fit into a church service. The foyer of the church was also filled (for two weeks) with art created specifically to worship God. Each art piece was required to have a paragraph or two telling of its worship implications. Our congregation loved walking around the foyer reading these statements and worshiping God through different mediums. And why not contact local artists and have them show their work as well? A service like this builds bridges and ministers to those in your community. Or partner with a local community choir, etc.  Be creative!

OK – now, it’s your turn! Let the ideas start SPRING-ing forth in the comments below! And may your services be filled with life and creativity!

Blessings,

Heather

Suggested product:

A Celebration of Creative Worship

Images

Awake My Soul

 

 

 

 

 

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