Inasmuch: Worship Team
June 2022 | Written by Maribeth Griessel
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness….
is one of our commands in the Book of Psalms, particularly Psalm 96:9b. And which team better suited to lead us in obedience to God’s Word than the Worship Team?
Inasmuch is a series of articles about Stewardship. The Worship Team, one of the Stewardship teams and an elder team, consists of elders Ritchey Cable, Jim Langford, and Dave Wiersma, in addition to former elder and team member at large, Mike Brink, Bill Leuenberger, serving in sound and technology, Chuck Leedle, Worship Leader of the early service, Ellie McGinty, Worship (11:00 service) and Media Director, and Sarah Sporrer, serving as clerk of this team as well as working on the aesthetics of worship. Senior Pastor Ritchey Cable explains, “I am tasked with chairing the Worship Team and leading the church in Sunday morning worship. The worship of God is our chief responsibility and so our shepherding of people in that area is essential.” The Evangelical Presbyterian Church gives both Ritchey and Associate Pastor of Discipleship, Michael Morefield, oversight of worship, with Ritchey strategizing long-term plans for sermons, scripture, and who is scheduled to preach.
As its stated primary responsibility, the Worship Team facilitates the orderly implementation of biblically-based Christ-centered worship services focused on God’s redemptive work for sinful people through the death and resurrection of God the Son – Jesus Christ. Three ways this is represented is first through worship services, providing spiritual and practical oversight for the coordination, planning, preparation and implementation of all worship services and elements. This includes both Sunday morning worship services, as well special services, through the Word, music, communion, and baptism, as well as encouragement of regular and punctual congregational attendance and prayer ministry.
Secondly, this team oversees, guides and coordinates stewardship and giving. And thirdly through the prayer ministry the Worship Team seeks to encourage prayer as an integral and vibrant part of all worship experiences at Gashland.
Members of the Worship Team serve in specific ways. Elder Dave Wiersma visits shut-ins, either in their homes or in care facilities, to serve communion, saying, “We strive to connect with those who are isolated and to encourage them that they are still an important part of the Gashland family.” He further asks that if anyone knows of someone who would benefit from receiving communion, while unable to attend services in person, to please contact him with names of such individuals.
Jim Langford has recently joined this team, adding, “As a new elder, I chose the Worship Team because I’m involved in sound and visuals for the second service, and worship music is an important part of my relationship with God.”
Those visiting Gashland, as well as members, are quick to notice the visual beauty of the upstairs Sanctuary and the downstairs Ministry Center, as well as the building as a whole. The decor is updated and changed regularly, in accordance with changing holidays and seasons. Second service attenders have no doubt noticed new banners, as well as the enacted vision to make the room more a worship center than merely a gymnasium. Sarah Sporrer relates, “I feel that keeping the facilities beautified is honoring to the Father and tells the community in which we reside that we value the gift of this facility to be used as the place where we worship Him.”
New projects are in the works in both the traditional and contemporary services. The 8:30 service is striving to utilize additional people helping to lead the services, as well as involving elders in leadership. As Chuck Leedle shares, “We try to keep the focus and priority of our fellowship on the ultimate priority of the worship of our Creator God.” A welcome change, after two years of Covid restrictions, is the return of the Choir. An upgrade is occurring with the sound system, as the board is being moved from the side
to the back of the sanctuary. Bill Leuenberger explains, “I am here to represent the technical needs and capabilities, as a member of the technical team.” Ellie McGinty adds, “Being a part of the Worship Team is a lot more than leading second service worship. As a team, we get to look at worship holistically, from the music to the beautification of the worship spaces, to the elements of the service, and work together.” She also works, along with other Worship Team members, to best support all volunteers who are serving in various capacities.
Additional goals of this group include the discussion of all issues pertaining to worship, as well as responding to all emails or concerns voiced and presented to the team. And as Mike Brink sums it up, “Having served on the Worship Team for 4 or 5 years, I really appreciate the prayerful and thoughtful approach that Gashland takes to planning for worship and the worship itself. After all, it is the most important thing we do all week! God is honored when we bring our best to Him!”
Through the many tasks of the Worship Team, it is clear that these servants continue to follow the “INASMUCH” instruction of our Lord, “Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these, you have done it to me.”