For the past 18 years, we’ve taken groups of (not more than 20) church leaders—staff and church members—to England for ten amazing days.
- England has a culture similar to North America.
- England is about 20 years ahead of the U.S., and 15 years ahead of Canada, in the spiritual cycle. England is a great classroom to prepare church leaders for what God is likely to do next in the U.S. and Canada.
Our work in England has led us to develop relationships with key leaders in the British renewal movement of Christianity. These world class leaders are well known beyond Great Britain. Some often speak at large conferences in North America. But you can’t get close to them in the big crowds. Through our relationship building, these leaders sit with us, inviting us into their homes and offices for great small group discussions. The result is inspiring!
One of our several stops in England is in Birmingham. We visit the church where recording artist Tim Hughes is the pastor. It’s great to spend time with Tim, but the most valuable time we spend at the church is hanging out with young adults learning to lead worship. The Birmingham church is the host for Worship Central.
Worship Central was birthed at Holy Trinity Brompton in London, but moved to Birmingham when Tim became the pastor of a new church plant there. Worship Central also has extension sites in England. One of them is in Sheffield, at St. Thomas Crookes, where we also make a visit. Our annual trip includes great teaching from Mick Woodhead, the lead pastor (vicar) at St. Thomas.
One foundational worship element taught and caught in the British renewal movement is this:
- One of the most important roles of a worship leader is to help people “lean into worship.”
Another valuable lesson we’ve learned:
- The preaching can be outstanding. But if the worship leading is mediocre, it diminishes—robs—the value of the worship service up to 50% of its impact.
Do I have your attention? If so, check out tomorrow’s blog post.