The Wesleyan Worship Project is a community of Wesleyan worship leaders and songwriters who create new, distinctively Wesleyan worship songs for use in local churches. Through songwriting retreats every spring and fall, worship leaders and songwriters gather to share resources, learn from pastors and scholars, and collaborate to write new worship songs together.
A few years ago, I was at dinner in California with two dear friends, Andrea Hunter and Lester Ruth. Lester has done amazing work analyzing CCLI data to find trends and recognize both what churches are singing, and what we’re not. As we talked about worship that night, the conversation led us to a topic that resonated deeply with all three of us—lost and missing things in our worship services. We talked about the kinds of prayers and songs that seemed to disappear over the decades, and Andrea suggested we end by asking the Lord if there was something he wanted us to do about it.
Since that dinner there have been a series of songwriting retreats that my own church, Trinity Wesleyan Church, has been hosting in Indianapolis. At these retreats we’ve asked worship scholars to help us revisit faithful lyrics, and release poets and artists to bring new life to sung prayers—worship songs—that are lost or missing.
In the spirit of this vision, the Wesleyan Worship Project was born to look for the themes that need renewal or rediscovery and invite worship leaders and songwriters to fill the gaps with new worship songs! There are many different layers of lost and missing prayers. Sometimes a certain type of song might be present in one congregation and not another. Different Christian movements emphasize different parts of the faith, so what might be lost or missing in one movement could be very much alive in another. We want to invite you on this journey with us to search for the gems of the past and rediscover them for the Church today.
It is the role of worship leaders and songwriters to be sensitive to both what God is saying in his word and by his Spirit, and to what the community needs in a particular moment. We get the blessed work of holding both the scriptures and the community and humbly offering weekly scripts to put God and his people in conversation.
May God make us sensitive to what might be lost or missing in the sung prayers of our people.
For more information about the Wesleyan Worship Project
and to find out how to get involved, email Josh Lavender.