This past week I had the privilege of attending Leadership Institute in Kansas City with four others from Chain of Lakes New Church. This conference is put on by United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, the largest Methodist Church in the United States. The church started with four people in 1990 and currently has 8,300 people worshipping weekly and another 2,300 people worshipping each week online.
This is the sixth time I have attended Leadership Institute—the third time while at Chain of Lakes New Church.
Leadership Institute is a combination of workshops, talks given by Adam Hamilton—the founding and senior pastor, and worship. Church of the Resurrection has always been very generous in giving everything they’ve learned away to other churches. Notes from their workshops can be found at: http://li.cor.org/no_cache/li-2011-resources/?dlpath=All_Workshops
The best workshop I attended was on worship planning. Connie Stella, a long-time staff person at the church who has just recently taken on a worship position at Abington Press, shared their worship planning process. I was able to attend the workshop with Kristel Peters, the new Music Director at Chain of Lakes.
Connie Stella shared that for each sermon series the church develops a Creative Brief. The Creative Brief is a tool or guide for planning a series of services or a single worship service. An outline of the Creative Brief looks like this:
As a result of this worship service what should the worshipper
Describe the emotional quality of the service
C. Key Characteristic of God that will be emphasized in the service or in the series
Order to worship
Song or Music Selection
Pray—how will we incorporate prayer into the service
Announcements and events
Anything else that is important
As always Adam Hamilton did a terrific job of speaking. He organized his presentations around a number of stories of Jesus. He talked about the stories and then gave specific examples of how the stories have influenced the ministry at Church of the Resurrection.
The best part of the trip was spending time with Val Owens, Kristel Peters, Jennifer Huehns, and Melanie Vosdingh. We spent four days together. We had plenty of time to talk about our lives and our thoughts about Chain of Lakes New Church. Spending this amount of unrushed time with them was a gift—and is difficult to have when we are back home.
I strongly encourage people to attend Leadership Institute. Our group wants to go next year. We’d love to go with more people from Chain of Lakes New Church and other Presbyterians.