- I am an existing Worship Leader exploring a call to be a Local Preacher. Will I have to complete Worship: Leading & Preaching from the beginning to become accredited as an LP?
- I can't wait to get started. How do I register?
- We've been waiting for this for a long time - when can we start to use it?
- How is the course structured?
- How is the course delivered?
- How long will it take to become a local preacher or worship leader?
- What about the other courses that have been running?
- In what format is the course produced?
- How are students assessed?
- How are portfolios produced and submitted for assessment?
- I've already started on Faith & Worship what should I do?
- Can anyone do the course?
- Who wrote the course?
- Do I have to wait until the end of module 4 to move from 'on note' to 'on trial'?
- How much training will there be for working with children and young people?
- What preparation has been given to help the local tutors?
- Who will monitor if this course is meeting our expectations?
- Are the DMLN regional officers acting as local tutors?
- What does it cost the circuit?
- Can I get exemption from part of the new course if I have already successfully completed part of Faith & Worship?
- Can I get APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning) exemption from all or part of the new course?
- Where are the pilots currently being held?
- Isn't 4 modules too much to ask a worship leader to complete?
- What do you define as a 'worship leader'? Do I have to do the course if, for instance, I lead prayers regularly?
- Who can be a mentor?
I am an existing Worship Leader exploring a call to be a Local Preacher. Will I have to complete Worship: Leading & Preaching from the beginning to become accredited as an LP?
Yes, you will have to start the course from the beginning and complete two assessment portfolios in order to become a local preacher even though you are already a worship leader.
The most important reason for this is that the previous Connexional course for worship leaders does not match up in terms of depth of study to the first four modules of Worship: Leading & Preaching and so there would be large gaps in a local preachers training if these were not studied fully. This would also be the same if you wished to study under Faith & Worship,
I can't wait to get started. How do I register?
Notifications of registrations of new students, mentors and tutors for Worship: Leading & Preaching should be made by Local Preachers Secretaries via the LPWL Return Form after the Local Preachers Meeting where commencement of training on the new course has been agreed. We are only taking registrations in this way. The LPWL Return Form can be found in various versions here.
We are not assuming that all existing Faith & Worship tutors will require (or want) access and log in details for Worship: Leading & Preaching and will need to be notified of any existing tutors who do need access. This should also be done on the LPWL Return Form. There is also space to indicate whether this tutor is tutoring Worship: Leading & Preaching in addition to or instead of Faith & Worship on the form.
We've been waiting for this for a long time - when can we start to use it?
Worship: Leading & Preaching launched across the whole Connexion in September 2015. We are currently taking registrations for new students, tutors and mentors for the course and groups of students of various sizes have already begun training in their local areas. If you are interested in beginning the course or wish to transfer over from the Faith & Worship course, please speak to your Local Preachers Secretaries about the arrangements that are being made near you.
How is the course structured?
There are eight new study modules that will form the basis for these pathways. Worship leaders will study the first four during their initial training period and local preachers will study all eight.
The format is refreshingly new - there is a structured mix of individual study and reflection, group discussion and practical application of learning in each of the course modules. Learning is supported in a range of ways, including local peer or tutor-led small groups, regional study days, and/or intensive courses. The course is intended to be flexible and accessible for people from many different social, geographic, ethnic and educational backgrounds.
How is the course delivered?
The course is designed to be delivered flexibly. It could be in a small study group, a circuit or district study day, through workshops or an intensive course. There is encouragement for worship leaders and local preachers to learn together, with the help of people from local congregations.
How long will it take to become a local preacher or worship leader?
The flippant answer is "a life time". We envisage it will take 1-2 years to complete modules 1-4 and 2-4 years to complete modules 5-8, depending on the way the modules are delivered (eg. monthly meetings compared to a residential week). The course may be taught quicker - but time will need to be set aside for the building up of the portfolio(s) and circuit assessment of the learner as a preacher or worship leader.
What about the other courses that have been running?
As Faith & Worship comes to an end, Worship: Leading & Preaching will be the sole syllabus recognised to train local preachers and worship leaders in the Methodist Church. However, the method of delivery may vary according to the local context.
In what format is the course produced?
The course is delivered online and is not simply text-based. As well as material to read, learners have material to listen to, to watch, to try out practically, and to reflect on. If you have limited internet access the online material is easy to print out or download to use offline. (It should be noted that to access links to copyrightable material you will need to be connected to the internet)
How are students assessed?
Learning is assessed via a portfolio model, which draws on the learner's preaching and worship leading materials as well as service reports and reflections, and relies much less on essay-style questions. This enables assessment to more appropriately focus on learners' preaching and worship leading skills, and their reflection and understanding, rather than on their writing skills.
How are portfolios produced and submitted for assessment?
Portfolios are submitted electronically using the course website. We strongly encourage people to produce written material for their portfolio on a computer using a word processor. This helps to avoid delays in assessment if handwriting is difficult to read. It also makes it easier for us to check that it's all your own work. We do this to avoid plagiarism, which is the unauthorised use of other people's work. Other items such as pictures can also be scanned and uploaded as part of the portfolio.
I've already started on Faith & Worship what should I do?
People who have already started Faith & Worship have three options:
- Continue studying Faith & Worship - The existing system will continue to be supported until August 31st 2021, which should allow all existing students to complete if they wish.
- Start Worship: Leading & Preaching at the beginning - Those who have struggled with the style of Faith & Worship, or have only recently begun, may wish to start afresh.
- Transfer to the new course with credit for any sections of Faith & Worship successfully completed.
Can anyone do the course?
Yes! Study groups are not limited to local preachers and worship leaders - they could also potentially be open to, say, small-group leaders, children-and-youth leaders, and people simply wanting to deepen their discipleship. Of course, to become a local preacher or a worship leader you would need to comply with the appropriate standing orders.
Who wrote the course?
The learning materials for each module have been generated collaboratively by small module writing groups. Alongside the writing process, we wanted to have a number of 'conversation partners' representing particular perspectives, who will be on hand to help make sure that the new learning materials reflect, and respond to, the diversity of our Church. With these there were a number of 'critical friends' further contributing to the writing process by adding creativity and practical insight, ensuring that the resources are imaginative, accessible, and engaging.
Do I have to wait until the end of module 4 to move from 'on note' to 'on trial'?
No. We are encouraging people to work with their mentors throughout their training. The Local Preachers' Meeting will continue to decide when someone is ready to move from 'on note' to 'on trial'. This can be at any stage during modules 1-4.
How much training will there be for working with children and young people?
There is a significant amount of training within the core modules (1-8). However we hope to develop (in the future) an extension module on leading worship with and for young people.
What preparation has been given to help the local tutors?
Training for tutors and mentors is currently being delivered across the Connexion by the Discipleship & Ministries Learning Network regional teams. Don't know which region you're in or who to contact for more information? Click here.
Who will monitor if this course is meeting our expectations?
It is the responsibility of the Ministries Committee to monitor the new course and report back to the Conference.
Are the DMLN regional officers acting as local tutors?
No. The regional officers are involved in training and supporting the local tutors.
What does it cost the circuit?
The Worship: Leading materials are offered to the Connexion free of charge. Local charges may be incurred depending on the delivery method of the course (e.g. venue hire for residential weekend delivery)
Can I get exemption from part of the new course if I have already successfully completed part of Faith & Worship?
Yes, if you have completed Section A you do not need to do modules 1-2 of Worship: Leading & Preaching (but will still need to complete the portfolio for modules 1-4); if you have completed sections A & B you will not need to do modules 1-4 (and will not need to complete the portfolio for modules 1-4).
Please note, however, that the new course is not equivalent to Faith & Worship and you would risk having some gaps in your training if you miss out on some of the new modules - so, we would encourage you to dip into the modules you miss and, if possible, attend the 'Explore' group sessions, even if you are exempted from having to do the assessment.
Can I get APEL (Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning) exemption from all or part of the new course?
No, there will not be APEL for the portfolios (for modules 1-4 and 5-8). You will still have to submit the two portfolios and these may have fewer options than usual - to ensure you have covered everything necessary during your previous studies. You may also be tested verbally on areas covered in the new course in the Local Preacher Meeting. It would be possible to submit portfolios based partly on work previously submitted elsewhere as part of your previous studies and partly on new work. You would not necessarily have to do the new course itself.
However, we would strongly advise you to do the whole of the course even if you have done prior study, as no previous course will be completely equivalent. You would also miss out on important aspects of individual and group formation. If you have done previous relevant study, we ask you to have a prior conversation with your regional Ministry Development Officer, who will advise you and your circuit Local Preacher Meeting how best to proceed. NB. see separate FAQ for those who have completed parts of Faith & Worship above.
Please see this page for more detailed information on the APEL process for Worship: Leading & preaching
Where are the pilots currently being held?
North Cumbria - a number of circuits working together.
Sheffield circuit - this is centred around the university chaplaincy and a group of worship leaders although is being broadened out to the wider circuit.
Birmingham Circuit - an inner city context.
East of England - this is an e-learning pilot.
East Central - this is a regional pilot following on from a model they have previously developed
London - a worship leader pilot centred around Hinde Street Methodist Church
Isn't 4 modules too much to ask a worship leader to complete?
It is true that the new course is more onerous than the previous course - this is because we hope it gives worship leaders more support in their ongoing learning. Many worship leaders have asked for more in depth training - this is our attempt to offer what has been asked for. We hope to meet the needs of both up and coming worship leaders and the Church of the future.
Worship leaders are, of course, Church Council appointments. If a Church Council wants to appoint a worship leader, according to the standing order they have to ensure they have undertaken a training programme validated by The Methodist Council (Standing Order 680).
This, in essence, means that if a local church decides to ask a worship leader to only do the parts of modules 1-4 that seem relevant to the local need that would be perfectly acceptable.
However, to be commissioned as a worship leader, and recognised by the wider church, they will have needed to submit a portfolio for modules 1-4. Likewise if someone intends to train as a deacon they will have needed to complete and have had assessed modules 1-4 as a minimum requirement.
If a worship leader later feels called to local preaching, and are affirmed in this call by the Circuit Meeting, they will need to be able to show their completed portfolio for modules 1-4 and complete the extra items that make up the 'bridge' to the local preacher portfolio.
What do you define as a 'worship leader'? Do I have to do the course if, for instance, I lead prayers regularly?
"A worship leader is a person appointed under this Section to take a leading and significant role in the conduct of worship within the life of a Local Church".- SO Section 68
"Worship leaders are members of the Methodist Church who have been trained and commissioned to share in preparing and leading worship alongside the minister or local preacher appointed to lead an act of worship. Their role may include choosing and leading music and prayers, reading Bible passages or other readings, facilitating dance or drama and any other aspect of the act of worship other than the sermon. This will depend on the context and the gifts and skills of the worship leader and those around them. Their knowledge and understanding of the local context also enables them to shape worship that is appropriate for the congregation.The minister or local preacher retains overall responsibility for the act of worship, but works collaboratively with others to prepare and lead it... The Methodist Church needs worship leaders in order to help engage in worship that is rooted in the context of the local community" - Called to Lead Worship? (printed copies are available from Methodist Publishing in packs of 20)
Worship leaders share in the leadership of worship in accordance with the arrangements made by the Church Council under Standing Order 680(1). At each service in which a worship leader shares the person appointed on the circuit plan of preaching appointments retains overall responsibility for the act of worship, but seeks to work collaboratively with the worship leader appointed to share in that service by the Church Council. (SO 685)
It is the responsibility of worship leaders:
(i) to help lead worship with knowledge, conviction and competence;
(ii) to help lead worship in accordance with our doctrines (the term 'our doctrines' refers to those truths of salvation which are set forth in the Methodist doctrinal standards);
(iii) to be available to help lead worship at times and places agreed with the Superintendent - if it has been agreed that it is appropriate for the worship leader to serve beyond his or her Local Church (SO 681(2) & 683(4)).
There are other people who help with worship but do not play a 'leading and significant role in the conduct of worship' - for instance, those who lead prayers or read from the Bible regularly in public worship. These people are more accurately described as assisting in worship, rather than worship leaders.
In order to become a commissioned worship leader it's necessary to follow the first four modules of Worship: Leading & Preaching, successfully complete the portfolio and be appointed by one's Local Church Council.
It is recommended that worship assistants sign up for certain relevant parts of modules 1-4, but without having to submit a portfolio.
Those who lead prayers would especially find it beneficial to follow the whole of Module 3 and Module-section 4.1. Those who read from the Bible would especially find it beneficial to follow the Module-sections 2.1 & 2.3.
Who can be a mentor?
A Mentor for a Worship Leader in training should be a Worship Leader who is currently authorised to serve in this role by their Church Council, or an accredited Local Preacher. A Mentor for a Local Preacher in training should be an accredited Local Preacher. There is no requirement for a Mentor to have completed the Worship: Leading & Preaching course themselves, but we would encourage them to familiarise themselves with the course and its requirements so that they can provide good support and encouragement to their mentee.