We are half way through our “In Christ” Ephesians campaign and things are going really well. So many are growing individually through journaling, in community through a small group (see picture below), and collectively through the weekend worship services.
One of the reasons why weekends are so anointed and exciting here at WCCC is because of the wonderful people who have been leading us in worship. This past spring and summer, we invited a dozen artists to lead us. This has been intentional as we have been laying the groundwork for our ‘Artists in Residence’ paradigm that the Elders (and Worship Search Team) approved last spring. This new and exciting model we are implementing provides persons of talent and variety on our platform each weekend.
As we cycled through all the worship artists who visited, our Search Team objectively evaluated each artist based on ten pre-determined qualities we considered important. Four additional factors were also considered and discussed which were important to ensure chemistry and agreement with our church culture. Items like:
* Theological agreement (Support and agreement with WCCC doctrine and Statement of Faith.)
* Philosophical agreement (Willingness to be an adjunct member of our staff team as a Worship Leader, not just a performing artist, with support for the WCCC Worship Arts Handbook.)
* Availability agreement (Willingness to commit to approximately 8 weekends a year at WCCC – average of once every 6 weeks for the next 12 months.)
* Financial agreement (Willingness to minister based on the Artists in Residence budget approved by the Elders Compensation Team. The total cost/budget for the six AIRs selected is comparable to a full-time Worship Minister position/package.)
After prayer and discussion utilizing the above criteria, our Search Team, led by Mark Koerner (thanks Mark for a great job!) recommended six individuals (subsequently approved by myself, the Elder Compensation Team and Elders) to be formally called to be permanent Artists in Residence. They have accepted. Those six (in no particular order of ranking) are: Paula Stefanovich, Denver Bierman, Titus Chapman, Jaci Velasquez, Alisa Childers, and Michael Boggs. An awesome lineup, wouldn’t you agree!!? A team of variety, diversity, energy, and humility.
We were originally thinking we would limit our AIR rotation to four or five, but because of the wonderful feedback, ability, likeability, and connection evidenced by all these individuals, we agreed to go with a team of six. From time to time we will schedule an artist who has led in the past, but is not a member of our AIR rotation. (Michael O’Brien is an example. He will be here to lead worship on October 23/24 weekend, and also share an ‘Encore concert’ that Sunday night as well!)
We believe the AIR program is a “win-win’ for our church, as well as the artists selected. We get fantastic people to lead us in worship each weekend, and they have a church home which provides support and community, while also allowing them to pursue their other performing/recording careers. Our hope and prayer is that week by week, you will continue building better and deeper relationships with these gifted artists. Please make them feel welcome!
Phil Coleman will continue to support and schedule our AIRs, as well as prepare and rehearse our band, singers, choir, and technology teams during the week as Minister of Music, Service
Programming, and Business Administration. Phil will also stand ready to lead worship on any weekend where a scheduled AIR experiences an unexpected delay or weather cancelation on
a particular weekend.
This week you should also have received a survey through mail or email (or both). Many have already responded through the online survey, which is preferred. Some have experienced difficulty logging on electronically through the link provided. The Covenant Group is working hard to correct this. Please keep trying if you got a message that says the survey is closed – it is not. If after trying for the next several days, you still cannot log in, then complete (and mail) the paper survey which was mailed to your house. We will have extra surveys and confidential return envelopes at the back of the Worship Center this coming weekend for those who didn’t get one in the mail, or for married couples who only got one form in the mail and each want to fill one out. Thanks again for helping us get candid feedback which will help us evaluate, plan and improve.
See you this weekend as we learn about the importance of our “Unity in Christ.”