Northwestern’s worship arts major was born out of a vision to see an approach to worship that can integrate any passion that glorifies God into the service. On Oct. 2-3, NW faculty will host events aimed at bringing that vision to church leaders and high schoolers from local communities.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, area worship leaders of all kinds are invited to a worship conference starting with campus chapel and continuing with sessions in the afternoon. On Wednesday, Oct. 3, there will be an afternoon of worship immersion, a learning and response experience for high schoolers.
Drew Schmidt, assistant professor of theatre and worship and one of the organizers of the event, remembered talking about worship arts with his FYS class in the first days of the program.
“One of my students who was a math major said, ‘Wait. Are you saying I can lead people into worship using math?’ Absolutely,” Schmidt said. “It’s that broader vision that we want to re-form for adults and instill early for high school students.”
The Tuesday worship conference will begin with an option to attend campus chapel led by a team from the Orchard Hill Church and will continue with a keynote address from religion professor Jason Lief.
Two sets of workshops will be held in the afternoon before concluding with a worship service at 5 p.m.
Workshops will include discussions on building a worship service, crafting an effective testimony and scripture memorization, among others hosted by both NW faculty and leaders from other ministries.
NW students can register for the conference at no cost. Schmidt encourages students to do so.
“One of the workshops is about raising up the next generation of leaders,” he said. “It would be lovely to have the next generation of leaders sitting in the room.”
The worship immersion that is offered for high schoolers the next day is built out of those same ideals but is uniquely tailored to show them to young people and get them to participate and contribute in a dynamic way.
Rather than time slots for workshops, the immersion is a single event from 1-5 p.m., and Schmidt is excited about what the high schoolers will do with that time.
“The younger we are, the more likely we are to engage in something drastically different,” Schmidt said.
He wants this time to demonstrate “the idea of learning through doing in a vulnerable and risk-taking way.”
NW has an opportunity to be a resource for worship leaders in the area, so faculty have trusted God by stepping out to offer that opportunity and cultivate passion in worship leaders and worship services.
Schmidt said that leading these events is a step of faith, but one they hope is faithful to God. “It’s something that we ask you guys to do all the time; here’s us doing the same thing.”
Students can find more information on the program and find the link to register for the worship conference at www.nwciowa.edu/worship-arts.