Excellence in Preaching and Worship Arts: Core Competencies

Ministerial excellence in the area of preaching and worship arts engages the following core competencies; behaviors, skills and personal attributes. Applicants are not expected to demonstrate full mastery of all competencies before admittance to the program and these core competencies can be enhanced through a professional development program. However, participants in Beyond the Call should demonstrate basic competency in these areas before being considered for the program as it is, in part, a "training of trainers,” and as such participants will be expected to mentor other colleagues on each particular topic. As part of the application process, we ask candidates to rate themselves and have those persons who are providing references rate them as well.

  1. Pulpit Presence – brings intuition, flexibility, spiritual maturity and intuition to every service; has ability to inspire from the pulpit; communicates a clear and consistent message that is carefully prepared and artfully delivered; projects the character of the congregation through worship leadership presence.
  2. Liturgist – creates deep and meaningful components of worship that are integrated and which flow; artfully crafts worship elements; balances the crafting of a unique liturgical voice with groundedness from the larger traditions; adapts locally inspired traditions honorably with respect and in context; recognizes worship as a form of education; spurs spiritual transformation and growth; utilizes technology in ways that enrich worship experience; deepens devotional aspects of worship while staying connected to realities of the "outside” world.
  3. Musicology – Has familiarity with the hymnbook and choral repertoire; demonstrates versatility and creativity in the use of music; works in cooperation with music staff; is willing, if possible, to chant or sing certain phrases in liturgy oneself.
  4. Storytelling – Embodies a story and tells it as one’s own; shows expertise and comfort, not just in sermon, but in intergenerational celebrations, memorials, etc.
  5. Stagecraft - Recognizes the power of setting; pays attention to staging the chancel, line of vision, clothing, floral arrangement colors, and ritual furniture and objects.
  6. Intercultural Competency – Has self-awareness of one's own culture; shows care and respect in using readings or materials from other cultures, making sure that over the course of the year, sources are indeed from various genders, ethnicities, orientations, religions and philosophies and nations in demographic proportion as much as possible.
  7. Collaboration – Works well with the musicians, storytellers, ushers, associates, worship committee members, board members, various choirs, and the religious education director in the creation of rich, deep worship on a weekly basis, no matter how many generations are present.
  8. Spiritual Maturity & Personal Resiliency – Shows strong personal depth and spiritual ground; has an active spiritual life and practice that functions as a source of one’s worship resources; demonstrates resiliency in the wind of pushback,possesses groundedness wedded to openness; has an honest vision growing out of congregational conversation; understands that worship is truly the "people’s work” and the minister’s role in that process.