WorshipOutlet Expanding Multi-Denominational Outreach

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Worship Alive Plus!, A New Lectionary Based Planning Resource

“We are developing new, creative and customizable worship resources for both liturgical and non-liturgical churches. Our goal is to connect the future to the past through fresh expressions of worship.”

WorshipOutlet, based in Elkhorn, Nebraska is putting a recent $50,000 grant from the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation to use by spreading the word about a resource that’s not just for Lutherans, but five different church denominations.

Among their most popular online offerings is a lectionary based worship planning resource called “Worship Alive Plus!” With this new lectionary based planning resource, worship leaders from across the country can find valuable tools to structure their own worship services. This includes litanies, creative worship expressions and multiple music options - ranging from contemporary songs to hymns.

Today approximately 180 churches use “Worship Alive Plus!” and it touches nearly 40,000 worshipers every weekend. The leaders behind “Worship Alive Plus!” attribute its success at least in part to its being geared towards traditional, blended and/or contemporary services. That includes Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian and Evangelical Non-Denominational services. WorshipOutlet endeavors to help reverse the declining religious trends of the United States by helping worship leaders create sermons relevant to the times. WorshipOutlet says its mission is to provide creative and engaging worship resources that are both Biblical and relevant for the 21st century.

Julie Koenemann, Director of Music Resources for Worship Outlet, said, “We are developing new and fresh expressions of worship for not only for those who have historically used liturgies but also non-liturgical resources for those who do not use liturgies. Our goal is to connect the future to the past through fresh expressions of worship.”

The leaders behind WorshipOutlet know from experience that worshipers are drawn to culturally-relevant worship and that this leads to increased attendance. Presently nearly 800 churches from 27 different countries, including the United States, use resources provided by WorshipOutlet. One church in urban Detroit attributes the use of WorshipOutlet’s resources to one of the main reasons they are growing in an urban setting while the churches around them are closing. “Worship Alive Plus!” is designed to help churches stay relevant with the changing times as well as providing a traditional foundation in scripture.

Lisa Ludwig, a Praise Team Leader from Bend, Oregon, said, "We use it as a tool to create our own services [with] the suggested songs, prayers and readings from different versions of the Bible. We like the materials and use them as a resource- picking and choosing what we will do."

Through their recent grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation, WorshipOutlet hopes to continue expanding the reach of their lectionary based planning resources as well as continuing to provide new and exciting content for worship leaders across the United States and the world. Tim Schwan, vice president of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation, said, “We are delighted to assist WorshipOutlet through this grant. We trust that this support will strengthen WorshipOutlet’s outreach ministry to those it serves.”

“Worship Alive Plus!” is a tool meant to inspire personal creativity. It offers a source of worship elements from which religious leaders can pick and choose or as a complete worship service package to be used in its entirety. It is a comprehensive lectionary based worship planning resource. The extensive sermon notes contain theological reflections, quotations, illustrations, humor and more. While it is lectionary based it is also thematic to make the liturgy new and fresh each week.

Worship leader Donna A. Smith said, "Worship Alive Plus! has greatly enhanced our worship. As a worship leader having the services ahead of time with such a variety of songs to choose from allows the worship team and band to truly be prepared not only to lead, but to understand the flow of the service, making the presence of the Lord more alive. Worship Alive Plus has helped cut down on the time I have spent searching for new music, which gives me more time to concentrate on the purpose of each service."

For more information on WorshipOutlet and the “Worship Alive Plus!” service visit (http://www.worshipoutlet.org/)

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Donna Hoefs
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