All church members are encouraged to get involved in the leading of worship – from leading prayers and reading lessons to playing in worship bands and preparing the space for worship.
Increasingly, members of the congregation find themselves involved in Local Arrangement Services, where no preacher has been appointed to oversee the worship. In these cases the oversight of the worship, but not necessarily the delivery of the worship, is the responsibility of the Church Stewards.
Over time three particular worship leader roles have been recognised as calls of God.
Worship leaders are appointed, trained and commissioned by the local church to take a significant role in public worship in their church. Working alongside a 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 worship other than preaching the sermon.
Increasing numbers of churches are realising the benefits that worship leaders bring. They often know their local congregation well and can introduce new creative insights and gifts into worship which are grounded in their local community and shaped by local mission priorities. More information
Local preachers are appointed, trained and recognised by the Circuit meeting (with guidance from the Local Preachers meeting). Their status is recognised across the connexion and, by invitation, they can lead worship in any Methodist church.
Local preachers are responsible for leading many Methodist worship services week by week. When a Local Preacher is named on the plan it is their responsibility to deliver an act of worship at the appointed time. Local preachers are expected to work collaboratively with worship leaders and the local congregation.
The process of formation and training for a local preacher is a comprehensive one, and part of the recognition of their call is a commitment to life-long learning. The development of skills and understanding through regular participation in leading worship is supplemented by a course of study known as Worship: Leading & Preaching. More information
Ordained Ministers are appointed, trained and deployed by the Methodist Conference. The majority serve in circuit appointments and lead worship most weeks. All presbyters have to first become local preachers. Some deacons have a preaching ministry whilst other have a ministry of proclamation. Like all members of the Methodist Church, deacons are encouraged to play their part in worship. More information