The Institute for Modern Worship (IMW) is an innovative initiative of The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. The IMW was created by and for local church worship leaders out of an expressed desire for continuing education and community amongst persons in worship ministry. The IMW equips and develops authentic, compassionate and confident local church worship leaders for fruitful ministry in their local context and beyond.
Worship leaders who participate in live events or curriculum produced by The Institute for Modern Worship will be educated in, but not limited to, four main areas of focus: WORSHIP THEOLOGY, LEADERSHIP, MUSICIANSHIP, and ADMINISTRATION; all in the context of relationship. The Institute for Modern Worship also serves as an invaluable coaching and consulting resource to event leaders and church leaders across the United Methodist connection who seek assistance in hiring and or developing a strong worship ministry presence in their local context.
The Institute for Modern Worship is a resource to local churches by further educating and equipping the local church worship leader in four main areas of focus. WORSHIP THEOLOGY, LEADERSHIP, MUSICIANSHIP and ADMINISTRATION. We are innovative in that there is no other ministry or initiative in our United Methodist connection that trains, equips or educates United Methodist worship leaders. We are also innovative in that we connect local church worship leaders with other worship leaders in their area. We encourage each of these groups to creatively explore how they might be On Mission Together in their local community and or regional areas. Through our local, district, and conference-wide worship leader support networks IMW is able to provide local churches with various levels of support.
In 2017, a design team was formed to brainstorm and explore the creation of an initiative to equip and support local church worship leaders. This group consisted of 3 clergy and 7 local church worship leaders. In March 2019, The Institute for Modern Worship held its first pilot event, “The Genesis Conference” which hosted 27 Florida Conference worship leaders for a weekend of creating, learning and communing together at First UMC Orlando.
In June of 2018 and 2019, The Well: A Worship Leaders Retreat was offered in two different formats to explore how best to serve worship leaders with a time of rest and renewal. In Fall 2019, The Institute for Modern Worship assisted in the launch of a Modern Worship Leader Network in The North Georgia Conference. The inaugural event welcomed 38 local church worship leaders from across the North Georgia Conference for a time of sharing hopes, dreams, and support needs. As of the end of 2019, IMW has reached and ministered to nearly 200 worship leaders across the connection while still only in its early stages of development.
We believe that the opportunities that lie ahead for The Institute for Modern Worship are endless as this ministry is truly the first of its kind within the context of The United Methodist Church. IMW hopes to explore relationships across conference lines in an effort to explore opportunities for educating, experiencing a variety of worship expression, and building community with our brothers and sisters across our global connection.
Contact: Jeremy Hearn at firstname.lastname@example.org