Training and coaching opportunity: Worship for the Whole Community

November 11, 2016
Submitted by the Rev. Kerry Greenhill
Sacred Stones Ministries, Inc.

Why do people come to worship? What spiritual and human needs does your church’s worship service currently meet? What groups of people in your community are under-represented (or not represented at all) in your congregation? How can you more effectively reach out to include and bless people from diverse backgrounds and lifestyles?
If your church leadership has struggled with any of these questions, consider taking part in Worship for the Whole Community, a year-long training and coaching opportunity offered by the Rocky Mountain Conference Board of Discipleship that seeks to strengthen the intentionality and effectiveness of worship across our conference.
Rev. Kerry Greenhill, with Sacred Stones Ministries, serves as primary consultant and facilitator for participating church teams, who will:
  • reflect on worship as an integral part of the church’s mission to bless people
  • learn about the diverse people groups in the local community through demographic reports and field testing
  • identify a lifestyle segment (people group) to intentionally include and bless, and
  • develop a new worship experiment (or adapt an existing worship service) to more effectively meet the spiritual needs of those they seek to serve.
As Tom Bandy and Lucinda Holmes identify in Worship Ways for the People within Your Reach, there is a disconnect between what churches are historically used to providing in worship and what people need and are seeking in the 21st century. We have resources to learn about our communities through demographic reports, and this information in turn can tell us something about what the nearest neighbors of our churches are spiritually hungry for.

American society today is made up of dozens of distinct lifestyle segments, each with different interests and needs. The church at the broadest level is able to meet all of these needs, but each individual congregation needs to be more specific in developing a vision and strategy for reaching and blessing particular groups of neighbors with a meaningful experience of Christ.
The program launches with a training event Jan. 13-14, 2017, at Arvada UMC, co-presented by Rev. Lucinda Holmes and Rev. Kerry Greenhill. Thanks to a generous grant from the Legacy Fund, the cost to participate is just $350 per church for both the training and follow-up coaching process.

The January training will also be open to churches who are not ready to commit to the year-long process. To sign up or learn more about this opportunity to become more effective in including and blessing new people in worship, email Rev. Greenhill at no later than Dec. 6.