As the most solemn and celebratory moments of the Christian year approach, many worship leaders may find they are struggling to craft appropriate services for their congregations. An online course offered by will address this struggle March 14-28. 

“Developing a Dynamic Praise and Worship Experience” is a two-week interactive experience taught by Darla Thieler, who is a Local Evangelist and Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church as well as music director for Calvin (Penn.) United Presbyterian Church.  

More information and enrollment links are at Participants will need a computer and internet access; all other course materials will be provided. The information is appropriate for a variety of church leaders—clergy, worship leaders, choir members, congregants and others. Past learners have come from different denominations and all sizes of churches.  

“Through Biblical study, we will learn the differences between praising God and worshiping God. We will come to understand that all services should help us enter into God’s presence and then move into a place of surrender and openness to hear God’s Word for our lives,” Thieler explains. 

Planning a dynamic experience for diverse types of services can be daunting, she adds, especially tailoring the elements selected to the appropriate occasion. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, World Communion Sunday, and Thanksgiving are often more difficult to structure. 

“Specific examples of different elements will be shared within the course for the purpose of enhancing and creating dynamic experiences, and group discussion is encouraged to give all participants an opportunity to share their own examples and experiences with one another,” she says. is a ministry of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, which is dedicated to providing Christian resources and education that build disciples and strengthen ministries.