Stanley J. Shipley ’73 - 3,326
The congregational responses employed in this study were gleaned from Scripture (Psalms and portions in the New Testament where worship gatherings and liturgical actions can be identified) and categorized according to Grenz’s book Theology for the Community of God. Biblical rationales for the Christian gathering were emphasized as a main motivation to design and lead congregational-based worship. The biblical and historical pattern of revelation-response was referenced as the rationale to incorporate Scripture into the worship-set (Col 3:16). Mark Bailey, President of Dallas Theological Seminary, referenced Prov 28:9 when he stated, “if worshipers won’t listen to what God says, then He doesn’t much care what they have to say” .
Finding a biblical foundation for teaching the skills of worship leading is difficult because of the evolution of the corporate expressions from the early Church to the present time. Though a stretch to our modern application, David personifies a combination of heart and skill that can be adapted to the training of worship leaders. Psalms 78:70-72 describes David’s leading Israel “with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.” This synopsis provided a framework from which to present the skills of worship leading.
The theological underpinnings of this study are based on the Greek words Kerygma, Leitourgia, Klerikoi, Ethos and Pathos. For the design portion of this project, Kerygma (proclamation; teachings) represented the theological content of the worship-set. The Theologians most referenced for this portion were Stanley Grenz and A. W. Tozer, who defined idolatry as “the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him.” Leitourgia (work of the people) represented the sequence of communal acts in the worship-set, as well as the acts themselves. The most-referenced Theologians for this portion were Stanley Grenz and Robert Webber, who stated, “The order of worship rehearses our relationship to God.”
For the delivery portion of the project, Klerikoi (orchestrate) represented the style and skills employed to guide and direct the community through the worship-set.
F. Russell Mitman states: “Worship leaders have the wonderful opportunity, as no other vocation is mandated, to bring together the people and to put together the expressions that lead to this awesome immersion into the very being of God.” Ethos (perceived ethical character) addressed the non-verbal communication involved in leadership, such as the response caused through a leader’s perceived authenticity and gestures. Pathos (persona) represented the verbal skills, encompassing the character or role the leader plays and what people feel. John Wesley wrote “That this silent language of your face and hands may move the affections of those that see and hear you, it must be well adjusted to the subject, as well as to the passion which you desire either to express or excite.” For some aspects of delivery, I accessed both theatrical and public speaking resources.