Worship Manual for Hope Chapel West of Santa Rosa
Worship Ministry Handbook
Hope Chapel West
Santa Rosa, California
Revised and Web-Enabled by:
© 2005 - Hope Chapel West of Santa Rosa, CA
This manual is based on the original version by:
© 1992, 1997 - Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Santa Rosa, CA
Used with permission.
Table of Contents
The purpose of this handbook is to provide an overview of the
worship ministry at Hope Chapel West of Santa Rosa. As you read,
be sure to look up any scripture references that are given.
What is worship?
"Yet a time is coming
and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father
in spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the
Father seeks. God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in
spirit and in truth." (NIV)
From a study of this text we derive the following expanded
definition of worship:
"To revere and give homage to God, serving Him through
profound adoration, intense love and desire, intimately
turning towards Him (as if to kiss), exposing our essential
in-most selves in complete honesty and surrender."
Why do we worship? God is looking for worshipers!
He desires to manifest Himself to them and through them!
(II Chronicles 16:9,
In doing so, we minister to the Lord
I Peter 2:9).
As we worship, we draw near to God, He draws near to us
and we, consequently, respond to His presence
Our worship consists primarily of personal interaction with
God and, secondarily, of service to Him. Mary sat at the Lord's
feet and listened to Him while Martha was busy with the chores. The
Lord's own answer was that Mary chose what was better
It is our sincere desire to nurture this same value in the
hearts of those called to worship here.
Whatever setting we may find ourselves in, be it at home
before the Lord, in a small group setting or a celebrative meeting
with many others, we look to the Lord for the following
characteristics and experiences:
- For our Worship:
Times of unbroken communion with God (The sharing of our thoughts
and emotions with Him); worship identifiable by an obvious
interchange of love between God and His people; the presence of God
evident and tangible in healing and deliverance.
- For the Worshipers:
A people who are eager to come into God's presence, hungry for
communion with Him; reaching out to God with joyful abandon;
submissive to each of His overtures; all in one accord with
the Holy Spirit and with each other.
Our purpose in this ministry is to facilitate the practice of
unbroken communion with God, which is the essence of Jesus'
We believe that God created us to live in constant fellowship
with Him or unbroken communion. The fall of man brought about
eternal separation from God, which the Father remedied through the
sacrifice of His beloved Son, Jesus, who died for our sins and for
our salvation. Through Him we obtain eternal life and direct
access to God.
We believe that worship is a primary means for us to
participate in unbroken communion with God.
Our Philosophy of Worship
This section has been adapted from "Building a Worship
Philosophy" by John Wimber, as appears in the Worship Resource
Center's training manual. Copyright 1987 Worship Resource
Center/Vineyard Ministries International.
A philosophy of worship or a "worship worldview" is concerned
with the way we approach worship as a local church and as worship
ministers in this church. Our philosophy includes both a thorough
analysis of, and an explicit statement of, our underlying
presuppositions. The elements of our worship philosophy include:
Values, Priorities, Practices, Programs and Biblical Expressions of
Worship, which are explained below.
- Values are "unseen", but they are extremely influential.
- Values are like the foundations beneath a building.
The foundation defines the location and the limits of the
building above. The deeper the foundation, the higher
the building can rise.
- Values affect what we think and what we do. Our
values are an intrinsic part of us, even though we seldom think
about them in a conscious fashion. They determine the ideas,
principles and concepts a person or group can accept,
assimilate, remember and transmit. They are fallible and must
constantly be revised and reviewed in light of Scripture.
- The following are values which we hold at HCW Santa
Rosa and which we seek to instill in the people we minister to.
- Worship is given only to God and only for His glory.
- We are intimate and self-disclosing with God.
- We do not worship for "effect" or to manipulate God.
(1 Kings 18:26)
- We worship in honesty and integrity.
- Emotion during worship is simply our natural response to interaction
with the living God.
- We welcome the ministry of the Holy Spirit in whatever way He
chooses to work among us.
(1 Thessalonians 5:19)
- Priorities can be seen!
- Priorities are seen by what is done.
- Priorities grow out of values
and can be compared to the columns or posts that sit on the
foundations of a building. They rise out of the foundation and
hold the building together.
- Priorities are established in order to give visible form to our values.
Priorities demonstrate how we spend our time, energy and money.
- The following priorities influence the practice of worship at our church.
- Our worship is to God, before it is about Him.
- Worship is communication between both us and God.
- Worship is to be our lifestyle - individually and corporately.
- We set aside time specifically to worship.
- We invest time, energy and money in worship. We
provide for training and equipment, continually
striving to grow and improve in all aspects in
order to bring quality to our worship.
- We provide instruction and care in worship to help
others be more effective in ministering to God and
to experience intimacy with God.
- We are free to grow and change in our worship as
God brings growth and change to us. As we do, we
are careful to maintain consistency between our
values and our priorities when change is initiated.
- The following are the ordered priorities of this worship team.
- We are about worshipping God. All else is secondary.
- We are about modeling and leading the rest of the congregation in worship.
Our purpose is to worship God, but our job is to model and lead others in
- We are about supporting, encouraging, and building up all
members of the worship team. Being on a worship team is a hard and sometimes
stressful job, but it will always be a safe place.
- We will strive to attain the highest degree of musical skill we can
achieve without compromising the first three priorities.
- Practices are sometimes seen and sometimes unseen. They
hang upon our priorities.
- Practices communicate values and priorities even
though they may never be articulated verbally. We
rigorously try to ensure that our practices
communicate our values and priorities.
- Following are our practices here at HCW.
- We engage in practices which are Biblically
sanctioned, either implicitly or explicitly.
- We worship at each of our gatherings.
- We encourage an uninterrupted flow of worship.
- We seek to expand and grow in our practices as God gives growth. We
seek new songs, new modes of expression and new experiences with God.
- We encourage the whole person to enter into worship
by use of body, soul and spirit.
- We are free to express worship through all Biblical means:
intimate adoration, thanksgiving, praise, extolling, exalting,
rejoicing, Biblical meditation, service, etc.
- Programs are like the various rooms inside a building.
They allow the values, priorities and practices to be
expressed in various ways.
- The following programs are part of the life of HCW Santa Rosa.
- Seminars and conferences.
- Congregational gatherings (i.e. Sunday Morning Service.)
- Kinship meetings and other small group gatherings.
- Personal and private worship. Our personal worship
times should be equally as important as prayer and Bible reading.
V. Biblical Expressions Of Worship
Included in our worship philosophy are the following forms of
expression found in Scripture. This is not intended to be
limiting or exhaustive in any way. Suggestions for addition
to this list will be greatly appreciated.
- Singing to Him.
1 Chronicles 15:16-27,
1 Chronicles 25:1-7,
2 Chronicles 29:27)
- Singing new songs.
The word "new" in aramaic is "Hadas" which means fresh or unused.
- Singing or speaking with your spirit.
(1 Corinthians 14:14-17)
Refers specifically to 'tongues'.
- Speaking about Him.
Refers to praises with the sense of "bubbling over with joy."
- Playing musical instruments.
1 Chronicles 25:1-7,
2 Chronicles 5:11-14,
2 Chronicles 29:25-30)
These instruments include winds, reeds, strings, brass and percussion.
- Shouting joyfully to Him.
Praising God LOUDLY for His triumphs.
Response of intimacy, joy, awe in God's presence, etc.
- Lifting up our hands.
An outward expression of our hearts.
Shows dependence, gratitude or surrender.
- Bowing low with our faces to the ground.
Demonstrating reverence & respect.
Shows humility, meekness and submission.
It literally means "to bless" God.
- Lying Prostrate.
Total awe, fear, reverence, humility or adoration.
- Standing in His presence.
Acknowledgement of reverence and service to royalty.
- Clapping our hands.
"The Father's heartbeat". Release of joy & thanks. Also a powerful
tool against the enemy's strongholds, many times combined
with shouting, praise & singing.
Pondering the attributes of God in our hearts.
- Spiritual sacrifice.
(1 Chronicles 15:29,
2 Samuel 6:14-16,
Celebrates God's victory and is a full expression of joy or rejoicing.
Dancing also expresses intimacy with the Lord. (An example would be
Flags and Banners
While not specifically mentioned as an expression of worship like the items
above, the use of flags and banners in worship carries a strong spiritual
significance. Depending on the translation, one may find references to any
of the following: flags, banners, standards, or ensigns.
There are several clear uses for flags, banners, etc. found in the scriptures:
- In warfare:
- As a marker or rally point:
- As a statement or proclamation:
The parallels to worship are clear. Worship is a form of spiritual warfare.
In that context, the use of flags to focus people on Jesus, to mark a territory
owned by God, to bring fear to the enemy, and to proclaim the reign of our
King all make sense. And while the flags, banners, etc. have no special
power in themselves, they have powerful symbolic meanings. That symbolism
extends to their form (flag, banner, etc), what pictures or words are on them,
and even the colors used. So just as different songs have meaning (praise,
celebration, worship, intimacy, etc) flags and banners may be created to
express a particular meaning and then used to reinforce that meaning in worship.
Here is an interesting article on one church's
Worship Flag Ministry.
Musician Development and Release
It is our desire to facilitate the development and release of
musicians for service in our worship ministry and to do so from
within our local church body. To this end, we have developed a
process by which musicians are trained and released to become
"minstrels" or worship ministers in our church.
The components of this process are:
Following is a brief explanation of each of these components.
- Regular participation in a small group. (When small groups are in process.)
- Musical Training. (When training sessions are in process.)
- Introduction to the Worship Team.
- Fulfillment of Handbook Requirements.
I. Regular Participation in a Small Group
All who wish to be involved in the worship ministry
must be an integral part of the life of this church.
Small Groups are the primary means for involvement and
allow an individual's character to be proven as well as
his or her worship skills to be developed.
II. Musical Training
(Not applicable if meetings are on sabbatical.)
For those musicians who are beginners or intermediates,
we seasonally maintain a weekly meeting called "Musicians In Training"
(MIT). The primary purpose of this meeting is to provide a
place for participants to develop and enhance their individual
skills with their chosen instruments on a regular basis.
Areas of focus for this program include:
Participants of this program are expected to practice regularly at home.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of regular personal practice
for those who wish to truly "play skillfully".
- Basic Music Theory.
- Rhythmic Skills.
- Playing with other Musicians.
- Memorization of Worship Songs.
In the absence of regular training or classes, musicians are expected to
work independently on their skills (through lessons, practice, etc). In
addition, interested people may be invited to "hang out" during regular
team practice times to develop their skills.
III. Introduction to the Worship Team
Anyone expressing an interest in joining the worship team (or anyone
asked to consider joining) will be first given the opportunity to attend
weekly worship practices to "hang out". This will typically involve
setting in the back of the room (so as to not disturb the practice)
to worship, pray, and sing/play along (un-amplified) with the practice.
It's an opportunity to observe how the team operates, learn the songs,
and generally see how things work.
This phase could last from a few weeks to months depending on the individual
and the situation. This time can help to reveal an individual's heart,
desire, motivations, and calling. There is also no implication or promise
that one is "on the team", it is merely a another step in the process.
As the process continues, the individual may be invited on stage to play or
sing along during practice. This does not imply they will be invited
to join in for a regular worship service. It's a opportunity to see how
the person fits in and blends with the rest of the team, and to
find their place in the mix. This period may also include a formal
audition which would include playing and/or singing two or more songs with
minimal accompaniment. The audition would be recorded.
At any point during this process either the individual or the worship
leader may decide that this is not the time to pursue involvement with
the worship team. The hope is that by keeping this part of the process
informal and low-key, any disappointment or embarrassment will be minimized
should things not work out. But if things go well,
this process may lead to apprenticeship.
IV. Fulfillment of Handbook Requirements
As a person moves through the introduction and apprenticeship phases,
and his or her calling is affirmed, the prequalifications for
involvement in the worship ministry on a permanent or
long term basis can be met.
Please refer to the next section of this handbook for these requirements.
Once a musician has achieved an appropriate skill
level both musically and as a worshiper, he or she may
begin an apprenticeship with an experienced worship leader
in a small group or as a member of a worship team. This
applies to experienced musicians also.
During this phase the "apprentice" will be given various
levels of responsibility as well as systematic and specific
goals designed to bring competency as a worship minister.
Also during this phase the "apprentice" is given the
opportunity to "learn by doing". This may include being invited
to participate in regular worship team practice times (singing or
playing an instrument). Note that an invitation to participate
in practice does not imply participation during a regular worship
Upon entering into apprenticeship, a probationary
period begins in which the person's calling can be proven
A musician can enter into service as a worship
minister after he or she has met all of the requirements
listed in the worship ministry handbook.
A twelve month service commitment is expected of
all individuals desiring to participate.
If you wish to lead worship as part of our worship team in celebration
or congregational settings, you must first lead worship in a small group
meeting successfully for a period of six to twelve months. (Care Groups,
special meetings, retreats, etc.) This requirement can be shortened or
eliminated for individuals with previous worship leading experience.
Anyone who desires to lead worship needs to be willing to be apprenticed.
Worship Team Ministry Pre-Qualification
In calling for the following pre-qualifications and
commitments for participation in the worship ministry of our
church, it is our intention that there be a calling, an anointing
and a Godly desire evident in the participant. It is not our
desire to make it difficult for "difficulty's sake", but rather to
ensure and encourage proper attitudes, teachable spirits, Godly
character and the full use of God's gifts and callings in each team
member, to the best of our ability.
- Be a "True Worshipper."
- Evident ability to play your instrument skillfully.
Willingness to be auditioned by the Worship Team.
- Demonstrate a willingness to hold this ministry with an
"open hand", leaving up to the Lord and the leadership
all questions regarding the scope of your involvement.
- Be a faithful participant in the life of this church as
evidenced by regular attendance (a minimum of six months)
at Small Group Meetings, (if applicable) and Sunday
services. Demonstrate commitment to this local body by
becoming involved in growing, healthy relationships with
other people who are doing the same. Invest time, energy
and money (regular tithes) as evidence of your call to
- Be recommended to the worship ministry by two or more
persons involved in leadership on a pastoral level. (i.e.
Small Group Leader, etc.)
- Show a willingness to work within the expectations of the
worship ministry leader, as indicated in this handbook.
- Indicate your willingness to support the pastor's vision,
even if it requires you to lay yours aside.
- Indicate your commitment to the vision, purpose and goal
of this worship ministry.
- Indicate your willingness to commit to the Worship
Ministry Job Requirements included in this handbook.
- If you are married, you must have the support of your
spouse for involvement in the worship ministry.
- If needed, indicate your willingness to pursue further
education in music including Instrument, Voice or Theory.
- Answer the Prospective Worship Team Member's
Questionnaire included in this handbook.
Worship Team Job Requirements
In order to properly nurture and sustain the kind of worship
we desire and to fulfill the biblical mandates regarding worship
and work (worship in spirit and in truth; play skillfully; work as
unto the Lord) we require all members of this ministry to commit
themselves to the following requirements. These skills are not
prerequisites to joining the worship team, but it is expected that
team members will always be working to improve the skills appropriate
to their position or area of service.
- Spend time alone worshipping God regularly.
- Practice your musical and/or technical skills a regularly.
- A willingness to be available to serve in any aspect of
the worship ministry when called upon.
- Attend worship team practice and worship services faithfully.
The typical times and conditions are:
- Thursday night practice, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm (or so).
- Sunday morning warm-up, 8:30 am to 9:30 am.
- Sunday morning service, 10:00 am.
- Special events which are relevant to your participation, on an
"as they occur" basis (workshops, special services, etc.).
- Extra practices for specialization or to learn new songs.
Note: all team members are expected to be setup and ready to go by
the listed start times. This includes equipment setup, tuning instruments,
preparing sheet music, etc. This will require most members to arrive
early thus allowing time to prepare.
- Necessary Skills (based on area of involvement).
- Able to discern "in tune" vs. "out of tune".
- Familiarity with instrument (which includes one's voice for singers).
Play (sing) well and smoothly within your current level.
- Trained ear. Able to play (sing) proper notes, scales, chords, etc.
- Rhythmically correct. Able to understand a rhythmic code or cell
in a given song. Able to maintain rhythm with others.
Sound System Skills:
- Able to operate all sound equipment and related hardware.
- Thorough knowledge of stage and sound system setup; the ability to
break down and setup the complete system.
- Able to discern a "good mix" and maintain the quality throughout
a worship set.
- Willing to serve the musicians and eliminate technical distractions.
- Able to quickly trouble-shoot mix, hardware or connection problems,
especially if they occur during a worship service.
- Able to operate all computer and projection hardware.
- Able to operate all presentation software: Easy Worship, Power Point, etc.
- Thorough knowledge of songs used so as to be able to: smoothly display
song lyrics along with the song, identify an out-of-order or
spontaneous song and quickly display its lyrics.
- Able to quickly trouble-shoot hardware or software problems, especially
if they occur during a worship service.
- A Servant's Attitude (respect for fellow team members).
- Commitment to punctuality.
- Commitment to practicing well.
- Commitment to musical and technical excellence as unto the Lord.
- Respect for team members' time (no disruptive talking or
musical "noodling" during practice).
- Willingness to be corrected or criticized.
- Willingness to hold any position, songs, or musical parts with an
"open hand". No ownership.
Prospective Worship Team Member's Questionnaire
If you have a desire to participate in the worship ministry at
Hope Chapel West Santa Rosa, either at the small
group level or as a member of our worship band, please answer the
following questions and return the answers to the worship leader.
If you would like to meet with the worship leader to discuss
this handbook or these questions, please do not hesitate to make an
- How long have you been a Christian? How were you saved (testimony)?
- How would you define worship? Why is worship important to you?
- How would you rate the importance of the worship ministry in the church today?
- What is your vision for worship at this church?
- What makes a "public ministry or service" different from ministries or services that the public does not see?
- Why are you interested in involvement on the worship team? In what way do you desire to serve (vocal, instrument, sound, etc.)?
- If you play an instrument, how long have you been playing?
- What is your educational background relative to music?
- What kind of music do you listen to?
- What is the most important quality a worship team member should have?
- After reading the Worship Ministry Handbook, do you have any questions, concerns or comments?
- Have you met the pre-qualifications listed in this handbook? If not, explain.
- Will you agree to the Worship Ministry Job Requirements section of this handbook?
- If you were a worship team leader, what would you require of prospective new members for team involvement?