Worship Workshops for Small Member Churches

If you serve a small church, you prepare worship without a team of paid professionals. You may even type the bulletin, check the plumbing, make a 100-mile hospital run and shovel the sidewalks. The challenges are distinctive, and the budgets are slim in small settings.

But hear this good news: You also have some powerful strengths — ones that form people deeply and don’t work in large settings! Small congregations have at least five unique gifts for offering worship. If you’re designing worship piece-meal from the internet or using resources developed for big places, you’re probably missing these gifts.  And you’re likely exhausted and a bit frustrated.

Teresa Stewart

But there is another way. We are developing Worship Workshops specifically for the challenges and gifts of small congregations. Worship can be lavish and rich and fit your community. Prayerfully consider these questions:

  • What if you could walk away with two to three months of detailed worship plans specifically designed for small congregations — including children’s worship, altar arts and sermon starts?
  • What if you could experience and practice these plans in a hands-on retreat setting?
  • What if you could learn to build worship from the unique gifts of small congregations?
  • What if you could grow additional worship skills that actually work in small settings?
  • What if you could leave supported and renewed for the quarter ahead?

You can. Worship Workshop retreats will help you design worship that meets the needs of your community.

The retreats will be led by Teresa Stewart, whose vocation and passion is small setting worship. For the past 15 years, she has developed distinctive worship resources for small congregations. She’s also curated worship for Saint Paul School of Theology and taught Worship and Sacrament for the Course of Study for the past seven years. Her appreciation of your ministry is great, and her approach is practical and enthusiastic.

If you have questions, email the Rev. Nancy Lambert at nlambert@greatplainsumc.org or call the Lincoln office.


Worship Workshops

2017-2018 Quarterly Planning Retreats
Manna House, 323 E 5th St., Concordia, KS


Sept. 7-8, 2017

Planning for
October and November

Mustard Seed Moments: Small, Insignificant, Overlooked Life-changers
5-week worship series: Oct. 1-29
(Includes resources for World Communion, Laity Sunday and All Saints)

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble, Gratitude
4-week worship series: Nov. 5-23
(Includes resources for Thanksgiving Sunday)


Nov. 2-3, 2017

Planning for
December and January

Wait and ...
5-week worship series: Dec. 3-31
(Includes resources for Advent, Christmas Eve and Epiphany)

Do Not Be Afraid
4-week worship series: Jan 7-28
(Includes resources for the Baptism of the Lord and Human Relations Day)


Jan. 11-12, 2018

Planning for
Lent through Easter

Road Ready
2-week worship series: Feb. 11 and 14
(Includes resources for Transfiguration Sunday and Ash Wednesday)

Restored: Finding Redemption in Our Mess*
6-week worship series: Feb. 18 - March 25
(Includes resources for Lent as a Holy Week Liturgy)
* Based on the Lenten study of the same name by Tom Berlin (Abingdon Press, 2016)

Arriving Home!
2-week special resource: April 1 and 8
(Includes resources for Easter Sunday and Holy Humor Sunday)


April 5-6, 2018

Planning for
May and June

Growing Seasons
4-week worship series: May 6-27
(Includes resources for Mother's Day, Pentecost and Peace with Justice Sunday)

Come Away
4-week worship series: June 3-4
(Includes resources for Father's Day)