Your first step to introduce your worship team to missional thinking can be a One-Day Missional Life Retreat in the context of a special rehearsal retreat. We cannot expect them to grow into deeper discipleship and more active missions until they have developed the missional mindset.
During this retreat, you will rehearse and prepare music for upcoming corporate worship while you are introducing basic missional life concepts. The best time of year for this retreat to occur is in either early January or just after Labor Day. An alternative could be a few weeks after Easter, but our hectic spring schedules make this alternative the third choice. The retreat could be scheduled on a Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon, or week night. It can be effective if held in your own rehearsal space, though you might want to consider an offsite retreat.
Here is the outline for a One-Day Missional Life retreat:
- Enjoy fellowship time with light snacks, 30 minutes before official start time.
- Warm up and rehearse worship songs for the upcoming Sunday.
- Present videos, testimonies and statistics introducing the decline of Christian affiliation in our country (Search this site for updated stats: http://www.pewforum.org/data/.) Then present stories of needs in your own community: spiritual darkness, illiteracy, teen pregnancy, crime, illicit drug use, etc. Consider inviting someone from the police or sheriff ’s department, a school administrator, or a social worker to share local stories of need. Ask your worship team to share with each other the needs and challenges they see in your community with the person on their right.
- Explain the concept of “Going Full Circle” and how our worship must move us to deeper discipleship and active missions. Lead a time of prayer and sing a song for God to open our eyes to see our world as he sees it.
- Rehearse another song or two for future worship services. Choosing songs to learn and rehearse that reflect our call to missional living will strengthen the impact of the event.
- Ask your team to discuss these questions with the person on their left:
Where in the Bible does it say that we will win the world by getting people into church? What does it say?
- Teach them the five-fingered-approach-to-handing-someone-the-gospel. (Go here to see my previous blog on this approach: http://wp.me/p4ybbl-7W. Ask them to share ideas with the whole group about how this approach could be applied in your community by your worship team.
- Have a time of prayer led by those previously recruited to pray on the team’s behalf.
- Rehearse one or more upcoming songs for future worship services.
- Present videos of missional concepts. Some sources for missional videos that can be bought and downloaded are: http://www.ignitermedia.com; http://www.worshiphousemedia.com; http://www.sermonspice.com. (Note: You may use videos from YouTube or Vimeo or other web-sharing sites only if you are live-streaming the video from the Internet, according to current U.S. copyright laws.) Ask for quick first-impression responses to these videos from your worship team.
- The retreat should continue in this pattern, alternating rehearsal of upcoming worship songs, with teaching of basic missional concepts from this blog or my book “Going Full Circle” (https://wipfandstock.com/going-full-circle.html) and other resources, followed by guided discussion.
- Be sure to invite your lead pastor to come in and say a closing word of support and encouragement to the team for their vision. Close the retreat with a celebrative ending and commitment to continue to the next step. Announce step two, Missional Moments in Weekly Rehearsals, to begin in the next rehearsal. I will present this plan next week right here.
Celebrate this first step into full-circle living in your worship ministry! Bravo for your leadership to take your team to the next level and grow “worshiping disciples on mission”. — Mark Powers