Starting a Blended Worship Service by Pastor Rob Raasch

BW guitar


Blended Worship: Where Do We Start?



I. What is Blended Worship? 

Definition:  A liturgical service with a more contemporary sound.


C.W. Liturgies                           Confession                          Contemporary liturgies
Organ                                         Absolution                           Piano & instruments
Hymns                                        Hymn of the Day                 Contemporary songs
Preach from pulpit                    Historical Readings           Preach outside pulpit
Formal greeting                          Sermon                                Informal greeting


II. Why Blended Worship?
A. To allow greater participation by worshippers who appreciate a more contemporary style of music.
B. To offer an alternative worship time and style.
C. To provide a more visitor-friendly worship service.
D. To broaden the worship horizons of members.
E. To utilize the musical gifts of God’s people.

Why not contemporary?
A. To avoid segregating the congregation.
B. To maintain the strengths of a liturgical worship service.

Principles for Lutheran Worship
A. Let the experience of the Church be honored.
B. Let the people participate.
C. Let the Gospel predominate.
D. Let God’s best gifts be used in public worship.

III. When Blended Worship?
A. An occasional alternate for the traditional service (once a month)
B. A permanent alternate for the traditional service (every late Sunday service)
C. An additional service (Saturday at 5:30 p.m.)

IV. Getting organized
A. Develop service format
          1.  Use of liturgy?  Review liturgies and find responses
          2.  How many songs and what kinds? 
          3. Develop a collection of prayers and confessions
          4. Establish a welcome and greeting practice
          5. Decide on use of ushers
          6. Where will the pastor deliver his sermon?
          7. Will the pastor wear his robe?
          8. Location of musicians
          9.   Decide on use of bulletin/songbook

B. Develop resources
          1.  Song books
          2. Song lists from other churches
          3. CCLI lists
          4. Familiar tunes from Christian radio
          5. Camp songs
          6. Familiar tunes from youth group
          7. Liturgies

 C. Review available music literature for suitability
          1. Scriptural content
          2. Singability
          3. Copyright availability
          4. Performance requirements (musicians, instruments, etc.)
          5. Organize according to use (praise, closing, hymn of day,
               communion, response, etc.)
D.  Develop pool of musicians
          1. Instrumentalists—piano, guitars, bass, drums,
               woodwinds and reeds (flutes, saxophones, oboes, etc.)
          2. Singers
          3. Directors
          4. Arrangers
          5. Head coordinator /music director
          6. Develop rehearsal plan (when, where, how often?)
          7.  Play list
          8. Begin rehearsing!

V.  Develop bulletin
A.  Basic Design
          1. Everything written out
          2. Larger size for easier reading 
          3. Font choices
          4. Newer cover design

B. Content

1. Service information
a) Theme
b) Welcome and visitor information
c) Today’s worship paragraph

2. Come, Let Us Worship the Lord
a) Greetings/silent prayer
b) Opening song of praise
c) Invocation
d) Responsive reading

3. We Confess our Sins and Rejoice in God’s Forgiveness
a) Confession options
b) Response song
c) Prayer of the Day options

4. God Speaks to Us Through His Word
a) Three readings, including introductory line
b) Statement of Faith
c) Song of the Day options
d) Today’s meditation

5. We Offer to God our Thanks and Praise
a) Sermon response (if no communion)
b) Offering and friendship register paragraph
c) Lord’s Prayer

6. God Comes to us Through His Holy Supper
a) Responsive intro and song response
b) Words of institution and response
c) Distribution song
d) Thanksgiving
e) Prayer

7. God Sends Us With His Blessing
a) Responsive theme closing
b) Benediction
c) Closing song

VI. Planning

A. Resources for prayers, confessions and readings

B. Outlines

VII. Resources
A. Best of the Best
B. Let All the People Praise You
C. Renew!
D. More Songs for Praise and Worship 2
E. Worship and Praise
F. Modern Worship
G. The New Common Service (from the New Service Settings)
H. Jesus, The Compassion of God

VIII. Licenses and copyrights
A. Licenses
2. Contemporary Christian Licensing International (CCLI)
3. Northwestern Publishing House

B. Copyrights
1. Acknowledgements
2. Reporting

C. Additional help
1. Songs
2. Hymns

Presented by:
The Blended Worship Committee
Mount Olive Lutheran, Appleton, WI
Pastor Robert Raasch
Kathy Kolander
Charles Ledvina
Julie Neujahr
Stephanie Shinnick


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