January 7 & 8, 2019—IWS Worship Seminar

Worship and Eschatology: A Study of Hope in Contemporary Worship Songs and Services will be taught by Dr. Glenn Packiam. This event will take place during our winter on-campus intensive and is open to the public but requires registration.

Introducing Dr. Glenn Packiam

Dr. Glenn PackiamGlenn Packiam is one of the associate senior pastors at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the lead pastor of New Life Downtown, a congregation of New Life Church. He holds a Doctorate in Theology and Ministry from Durham University, a Masters in Management from Oral Roberts University, and a Graduate Certificate in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.

Dr. Packiam was one of the founding leaders and songwriters for the Desperation Band and is featured on several Desperation Band and NewLifeWorship recordings. He has released three solo projects: The Mystery of Faith, The Kingdom Comes, and Rumors and Revelations, and has written over 65 worship songs, including “Your Name” and “My Savior Lives.”

Packiam is the author of Discover the Mystery of Faith: How Worship Shapes Believing (David C. Cook, 2013), LUCKY: How the Kingdom Comes to Unlikely People (Cook, 2011), Secondhand Jesus: Trading Rumors of God for a Firsthand Faith (Cook, 2009), and Butterfly in Brazil: How Your Life Can Make a World of Difference (Tyndale, 2007).

An ordained priest with the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA), Glenn, his wife, Holly, their four children are enjoying life in the shadow of the mighty Rocky Mountains. For more information, go to glennpackiam.com.

Bookstore Spotlight
Preview Dr. Packiam’s books in the IWS Bookstore.

Seminar Description

Worship and Eschatology: A Study of Hope in Contemporary Worship Songs and Services

Worship has become ubiquitous within contemporary Christianity, yet only recently has its history been documented and its roots traced. While contemporary worship songs and services have often been the subject of scrutiny and critique, songs and services have rarely been studied in tandem with one another. Studies demonstrate that the text of a ritual is different from the performance of a ritual. A sustained analysis of contemporary worship songs and services along a singular theological theme is needed. This seminar will examine the eschatological quality of contemporary worship by exploring how Christian hope is encoded and experienced in worship songs and services.


Register now online or by mail.


Seminar Schedule

Monday, January 7
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Chapel
9:15 a.m. Seminar Session 1
What is the Purpose of Congregational Worship?
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Seminar Session 2
Praxis and Discussion
12:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1:00 p.m. Seminar Session 3
What is Christian Hope?
2:15 p.m. Break
2:30 p.m. Seminar Session 4
What Do Evangelicals Sing When They Sing About Hope?
3:45 p.m. Free
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Practicum Presentations
Tuesday, January 8
7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Chapel
9:15 a.m. Seminar Session 5
Emotion, Experience, and the Presence of God
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Seminar Session 6
Experiencing Hope
12:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1:00 p.m. Seminar Session 7
The Spirit of Hope
2:15 p.m. Break
2:30 p.m. Seminar Session 8
A Charge to Pastors, Worship Leaders, and Songwriters
3:45 p.m. Free
5:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30 p.m. Healing/Communion Service


Session Descriptions

DAY ONE

Session 1—
What is the Purpose of Congregational Worship?

Based on a brief overview of literature on contemporary worship from practitioners and theoreticians alike, three broad paradigms emerge: mission, formation, and encounter. Each of these paradigms shape the language and the approach to worship design, songwriting, worship leading, and preaching, and none is sufficient on its own.

Session 2—
Praxis and Discussion

This session will focus on creative ways to shape services based on the three paradigms presented above. It will be praxis-oriented and will include specific action items for preachers, worship designers, and songwriters. Case studies will be examined including the story of my journey and the missteps that occurred in implementing a liturgical framework in an evangelical context.

Session 3—
What is Christian Hope?

Drawing on five models of hope, this session will establish a working definition of creedal Christian hope. The cognitive model identifies hope as a positive motivational state based on a favorable appraisal of both agency and pathway. The affective model demonstrates how hopeful feelings arise. The virtue-ethics model forms connections between emotion and character, allowing hope to become a habit. The phenomenological model provides a structural analysis of hope in terms of its subject, object, grounds, and act. Finally, the theological model calls to attention the time and space dimensions of hope. Taking the models together, we arrive at a working definition for creedal Christian hope in the contemporary context.

Session 4—
What Do Evangelicals Sing When They Sing About Hope?

This session focuses on an analysis of encoded hope from the aggregated responses of national worship leaders to questions about songs of hope. The findings were cross-referenced with responses from two evangelical megachurches—a Presbyterian church in Denver and a Charismatic church in Dallas—to see if the patterns on a national scale play out on the local level. We will explore the research findings about the quality of hope that is encoded in contemporary worship songs.

DAY TWO

Session 5—
Emotion, Experience, and the Presence of God

This session will take an in-depth look at the paradigm of encounter. Because of the ubiquity of contemporary worship and because it has been said to carry a Pentecostal “genetic code” (Lester Ruth), it is worth exploring the sociological, psychological, and theological dimensions of emotion and experience—two identifiable features of contemporary worship.

Session 6—
Experiencing Hope

Since a song and a worship service are not the same thing, in-depth fieldwork is important. Based on participant observation, interviews, and the narrated experiences of hope from focus groups in two evangelical megachurches, this session compares the research with literature from the social sciences on ritual, emotion, and collective behavior. Four key observations emerge.

Session 7—
The Spirit of Hope

There is an undeniable inconsistency between the anemic theology of hope encoded in contemporary worship songs and the rich experience of hope in contemporary worship services. In this session, I propose a robust theology of the Spirit that addresses this incongruity and makes the essential link between the text of contemporary worship songs and the performance of the ritual.

Session 8—
A Charge to Pastors, Worship Leaders, and Songwriters

The notion that the Spirit meets us with hope despite the lack of a robust eschatological content in contemporary worship music has resulted in the writing of poor, theologically deficient songs. This session unpacks three practical recommendations for church leaders—especially preachers, songwriters, worship leaders and worship design teams.


Make it a Spiritual Retreat

You are welcome to craft your own schedule to incorporate additional time on campus to take in chapel sessions, visit classes, read and research in the library, or spend time alone in quiet meditation. You may plan to come early and stay longer if you’d like. Contact the IWS office. Let us know how we can help.

Registration

Full Seminar Cost: $175 (Early registration by Nov 15: $150)
One Day Only Cost: $90
Lunch is included in the registration fee.