“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” John 4:24
What are Lay Worship Assistants?
Lay Worship Assistants contribute to the life of the church and their community by leading services. They might lead Morning and Evening Prayer, alternative non-Eucharistic forms of worship, and assist clergy to lead Eucharistic services.
Lay Worship Assistants fulfill this role under the guidance of the incumbent. That guidance gives LWAs confidence and authority to use their gifts, supported by their incumbent’s experience and theological knowledge.
Across the diocese, Lay Worship Assistants are increasing the flexibility of worship within our churches. They improve the range and number of services that can be offered. They ensure that people can worship regularly in their own communities.
Who can become a Lay Worship Assistant?
If you are:
- willing to do the preparation necessary for leading worship, including studying the Bible
- willing to stand up in front of people and yet not make yourself the centre of attention
- prepared to learn to use any relevant technology
this may be a ministry for you to explore. Download the leaflet below for more information
All sorts of people from all backgrounds and walks of life are called by God to be LWAs. It is a voluntary role and is usually part-time. LWAs are expected to commit regular time to the role, but it is flexible and fluid to suit an individual’s circumstances. This is a ministry on behalf of the church and so you will operate under the guidance of the incumbent. This may involve becoming familiar with styles of worship that are not natural to you but are of benefit to your worshipping community.
How can I become a Lay Worship Assistant?
Working out your calling is about listening attentively to God and reflecting with others. If you feel called to this ministry, talk to your local clergy. We want LWAs to feel properly equipped for this important role, so the first step is to attend an eight week Exploring Worship course. Clergy and readers run this course at a Deanery level, so your incumbent will need to work with the Deanery to enable you to attend a local course.
Not every one who does the course will decide to go on to become an LWA. You and your incumbent will need to agree, at the end of the course, that the ministry is correct for you and you will need to do an assessed service. Safeguarding training will need to follow and you will require a DBS safeguarding check. Finally, you and your minister will create a ministry specification. You will then receive a commendation from the Bishop for the role which last 5 years or until you change church or a new incumbent is appointed. At that stage you will need to agree together whether the ministry will continue in the new circumstances.
Meet a Lay Worship Assistant.
I the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry… who will bear my light to them, whom shall I send?
“Having trained as a drama teacher it is in my nature to create images for people to respond to. So when the hymn above nudged me into offering myself to my local church, the role of Lay Worship Assistant immediately sprung to mind.
The Diocesan course, run by our Deanery, provided me with the guidance and inspiration I needed to fulfil this, producing themes and suggestions with material to dip into for expansion.
Sharing with others on the course opened my eyes to the vast possibilities of being able to lead our church families into the presence of Our God through words and music. For me it is an opportunity to bring a vision of His Kingdom into the lives of His Children.”
I will go Lord, if you lead me. I will hold your people in my heart
Sally from Quantock Deanery.