School of Worship Enrichment

Is your congregation…

  • Reviewing how public worship fits into its overall plan for gospel ministry?
  • Wanting to participate in worship more effectively?
  • Wondering how to reach out to the unchurched in worship?
  • Thinking about how best to serve people in worship?
  • Trying to blend newer music with the long-standing strengths of Lutheran worship?
  • Searching for helpful new materials that will enhance worship?
  • Feeling it could use some practical advice about how better to prioritize and plan worship?
  • A small, medium, or large parish?

Then plan to attend the School of Worship Enrichment with other key people from your church.

The School of Worship Enrichment is a day and a half event that enables participants to analyze existing worship practices and to plan strategies for beneficial innovation and renewal. It follows the format of the popular School of Outreach, conducted by the WELS Commission on Evangelism for many years.

Worship featuring new and uplifting styles and songs.
Presentation on the purpose and forms of worship and on strategic planning.
Demonstration of new music and old music done in new ways.
Consultation with experienced worship planners who guide individual congregations through a strategic planning process designed to serve the congregation’s goals.
Relaxation with other WELS members and musicians who share a common ministry and goal.

Some analysis is done before the event to evaluate congregational and worship staff attitudes and priorities. This helps presenters to customize their approach to a variety of parish needs and sizes.

The presenters are currently a group of pastors, teachers, and experienced church musicians who have advanced education in worship or church music. All have served in various creative or leadership roles in WELS worship.

A major objective of this event is to lead parish worship planners to coordinate efforts. So it is best if all those with worship responsibilities participate. Obviously, key participants include the pastor(s), the main organist and choir director, the teacher in charge of the Lutheran elementary school music program, and a responsible member of the Church Council or Worship Committee. Assistant musicians and laypeople with interest in public worship are urged to attend as well. If one or another of the key participants is not able to attend, the Commission on Worship asks that congregations look for another opportunity to participate.

For the sake of lay people and Lutheran elementary school teachers, the event is usually scheduled on a Saturday (8:30-6:00) and Sunday (1:00-4:00). Event presenters serve as worship leaders at a special Sunday morning service at the host congregation. All participants are encouraged to attend this service, since a variety of materials will be modeled. Pastors and organists with regular duties on Sunday morning are encouraged to seek substitutes, if possible. We realize this may not work in every case.

The fee for each participating congregation is currently $250. A congregation may bring as many people as it likes for this fee. There is an additional $20 per participant fee to help cover material and food costs. Meals are served by the host congregation. For a limited time a subsidy is available for those who travel greater distances. See the “Congregational Documents” link.

This event is planned and organized by the District Worship Coordinator, worship office and the pastor or staff of the host congregation. Congregations are asked to make a reservation with event planners as soon as key participants commit themselves to attend. If you are not one of the key participants and you wish to attend, please let your pastor know. Normally a maximum of ten congregations will be accepted at each School of Worship Enrichment. Reservations are accepted on a “first come, first served” basis.