These booklets are part of the St Padarn’s MINISTRY SERIES and are designed to help those who would like to become more involved in Leading Worship or being a Pastoral Assistant with the end of each book containing a basic template for those who are to be commissioned as Pastoral Assistants.
There is a great tradition of pastoral visiting within the Anglican Church, as in all denominations within Wales. The historian Roger Lloyd writes,
The Anglican Church is essentially and fundamentally pastoral. It cannot be said too often because nobody will ever understand Anglicanism who ignores this basic fact. It is always the great pastors who remain beloved heroes for one generation after another… Those [ministers] are loved best who know their sheep and are known by them’’.
Pastoral visiting has always been a key part of the priest or minister’s work and remains so today. However, pastoral reorganisation, and particularly within the Church in Wales the development of Ministry/Mission Areas, has created opportunities for an increased involvement in pastoral visiting for all members of the church. This is directly related to a steady increase in the development of lay ministry, a recognition of the essentially collaborative nature of the church, and a growing commitment to the concept of the ‘ministry of all baptised Christians’.
This booklet is grounded upon the Christian principle that all people are loved and are of value to God. It aims to provide a basic understanding of all that is involved. It will help in understanding how to be a good listener, how to manage a pastoral conversation and how to deal with the practicalities of visiting.
The word ‘worship’ comes to us from the Saxon language where it describes a ‘grant of worth’. To worship God is therefore to grant him the worth that is due to him. And we grant that worth by offering God all that we are and all that we have, described traditionally in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as ‘our bounden duty and service’.
Worship is not just a congregational activity. In the Revelation of John, we are shown a vision of the worship of heaven where every creature in heaven and on earth, and under the earth and in the sea, all worship the living God by singing:
To the one seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honour and glory and might for ever and ever! (Rev 5: 13)
In today’s Church in Wales you will be able to see a wonderful abundance of expressions of worship. The briefest tour of the nation will bring you to churches where congregations are led by a guitarist backed by a contemporary music group, who begin their service with 20-30 minutes of sung worship, to congregations who break up their more formal liturgy with single hymns, to congregations who enjoy a ‘said service’ with Eucharist but no musicians or sung element to the service, to congregations with strong choral traditions and robed choirs with distinct choral pieces with sung responses being the preference. And, of course, you will encounter combinations of all the above.
This booklet aims to provide you with a basic understanding of all that is involved in leading worship and to enable you to reflect on your own experience as a worshipper and a worship leader. It will help you to understand how to lead worship well, how to communicate the scriptures, how to lead prayers, how to create and lead a ‘Service of the Word’ (the Church term for a service which is not Eucharistic) and how to construct acts of worship for different occasions.