Worship in Many Small Churches Is a “Dry and Thirsty Land”

on September 21 | in Uncategorized, Worship Training | by | with 6 Comments

Help Is on the Way!

Bruce Cannon, associational missionary for the Bladen Association, recently commented that it seems like we are worshipping in a “dry and thirsty land” in many of our churches. Almost every week I hear from a pastor or associational missionary concerning the desperate situation in so many North Carolina Baptist churches that lack needed worship leadership. One pastor described his church’s situation as having a pianist who can only play in three or four keys and an organist who has very little ability. Although the pastor was very grateful for volunteers willing to serve, he shared that the church is limited in the older, more traditional, music they can do, and they cannot even venture into newer music. The pastor asked what could be done to help his church’s corporate worship times.

These stories are not at all uncommon. The younger generation is producing very few instrumentalists to replace retiring church musicians. Many churches find themselves with instrumentalists with vast limitations or no musicians at all. Volunteer leadership in many of our churches is in great need of training. Many churches long to move beyond only traditional forms of worship, but find that impossible with the limitations they have. What is a church to do?

After much time interfacing with smaller membership churches and hearing from concerned pastors and associational missionaries, I have developed a training event that will inform and equip the church worship leadership on ways to renew worship in churches with limited resources.

The event is called “Worship Leader Boot Camp: Special Edition (Leading Worship with Limited Resources).” It takes the popular Worship Leader Boot Camp training event, offered throughout North Carolina last year, and changes the direct application of the biblical and leadership principles through practically helping churches with limited resources to engage technology and new ways of thinking to lead worship with only one or two, or perhaps no instrumentalists.


The theology of worship and leadership principles taught in the original worship leader boot camps are unchanged.

The practical application will instruct participants to use resources such as LifeWayWorship.com and other technology to inexpensively provide meaningful and musically excellent worship experiences in the local church. All times of worship will be led by only one to three musicians, demonstrating worship in churches with limited resources. For instance, a worship segment may be led by one keyboardist utilizing only tracks on some songs, just keyboard on some songs, and a combination of the two on other songs. The songs will be woven together in a seamless fashion to demonstrate the effectiveness and use of these practices.

Finding excellent new songs for use in worship and learning about the best ways to introduce new songs into a congregation’s worship is another vital part of the training.

Participants will be encouraged to bring their computers, if available, and people from their church with technical ability and some knowledge of music since there will be some hands-on time of constructing musical segments for worship.

Upcoming Event

Participants receive a 140-page  worship leader handbook and a $10 LifeWayWorship download card. 

September 21-22, 2012 – First Baptist Church, Brevard, NC
Friday 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Cost: $25 through September 7, then $30.
Includes lunch if registered by 9am Wednesday, September 19.
Fees (or a portion thereof) may be non-refundable after Thursday, Sept. 20.

Register here

Pin It

6 Responses

  1. Tom says:

    Many churches are dry, formal and starchy these days. There’s a spiritual famine across the land. I attended a church for 2yrs that didn’t feed me 99% of the time. So after long prayers to the Lord about whether I should stay or leave. Eventually I received my answer which was to leave. So I exited the church, but at a cost. None of my friends, (who go there) contact me anymore, even to see how I’m doing. Even worse, my girlfriend (who still attends that church) “fired” me from our relationship because of my departure. I wasn’t the only person who left that cold, formal and man made church. I was told lots of ppl have been leaving, yet the pastor just doesn’t seem to get it. I’m sorry so many people are comfortably numb in their dry wells with the “same old same old” hum drum monotonous sermons, week after week after week. Now some people like “comatose formats.” Some people like drinking sand from a glass. Not me. Unlike them, I choose not to drink sand from a glass. That’s what I get from dry wells. Sand. And there’s a lot of dry wells around these days. A lot of dry wells. There’s no love for dress codes and class anymore either as people come to church these days dressed as lazy slobs. I’m not being legalistic here. I’m being simply factual. Grace churches, back in the day, had people dress wonderfully and not like they were going to a baseball game. I have zero confidence in the churches that exist in my area. No confidence whatsoever. They’re “not” Spiritual Hospitals. They’re “not” Spiritual Training Camps. They’re “feel good lodges” whose leaders tell an increasingly lazy attendees what they want to hear. Even worse, they water themselves down to become appeasing to the World. Once that happens, the churches who do that lose their separate identity from the world as a peculiar people. This is because instead of being in World they become OF the World. I’ll pass. Many people say “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves!” Give me a brake. It doesn’t say “At church only and on Sundays only.” Many church goers just don’t get it. They’ll be prayed for.

  2. sherron austin says:

    Thanks for considering a boot camp closer to Ashboro. It was very helpful to us and the attendance was always great. These workshops are so encouraging. Please let us know if you come closer to our area. Camp Caraway was where the workshops were held and they were so helpful.

  3. sherron austin says:

    Would you please consider more training sessions? I work full time and find it very difficult to get to the training sessions because of the distance from where I live. I keep check on your website. Would you consider coming closer to the Ashboro area near the Camp Caraway area? We had gone many years to the volunteer music camp they offered and found it very helpful.

  4. Doris Eades says:

    This is in response to the Biblical Recorder article last week. Our church has a baby grand piano and an organ that is comparative to the piano. We have 2 volunteer musicans with years of experience who play very well. But have a choir/music director who prefers loud, taped music to live playing. This seems to be the new normal in churches? We have not had a live instrument choir special in years. This has been with 2 different music directors.

    Sincerely, Doris Eades

    • Kenny Lamm says:

      Using accompaniment tracks with choirs in churches that do not have instrumentation beyond an organ and a piano is a common practice. If done well, it can bring many additional, great sounds to the choir’s music. Certain anthems lend themselves to accompaniment by organ, piano, or a combination of the two. Others may be better with an accompaniment track. Certainly, the sound level does not need to be any louder than needed to blend with the voices. Some churches successfully use live instrumentation with the accompaniment tracks to incorporate the broader palette of sounds while using their own live musicians.

Leave a Reply to Doris Eades Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Answer Math Problem *

« »

Scroll to top