The Voice: Spring 2002
Worship workshop trains student leaders
On January 26 nearly fifty Dordt students gave their Saturdaya record-setting sixty-nine-degree dayto
participate in a workshop on worship. It was a rich and wonderful day,
says Dr. Sydney Hielema, who teaches theology and is a member of the
Spiritual Activities Committee.
The workshop grew out of a sense that because we plan worship opportunities
on campus, we need training, says Hielema. The number of students participating also
indicates the interest in such issues by students, says Dordts campus pastor, Dr.
The worship workshop exceeded my expectationsand I had pretty high expectations, Draayer said
after the event. Dr. [John] Witvliet did a great job laying out the basics
of worship that is biblically sensitive and faithful. What he presented was applicable
to any style of worship and demonstrated that style is less significant than
Senior Rochelle Senti, who coordinates GIFT, a campus communal worship time, says the
day gave her a deeper biblical sense that worship has different manifestations: it
is a way of life, a time to gather, and a response of
Freshman Dan Zylstra from South Holland, Illinois, found Witvliets description of worship as
covenant renewal helpful in thinking about what we do in worshipthe Lord speaks
to his people and they answer back. The promise of salvation is renewed.
The workshop was made possible through a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin
Center for Christian Worship of Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly
Endowment. It was led by Dr. John Witvliet, director of the Center.
Theres a shifting landscape in worship today, says Draayer. That landscape spreads across
denominational lines and has also affected worship at Dordt College. While Draayer appreciates
the openness this has brought in how students express their faith, he, too,
believes that student worship leaders and participants need to understand what worship is
as they plan worship events.
Draayer hopes that workshops such as this will also bridge gaps between different
worship styles. He would like the worship conference held in January to be
a model for yearly conferences.
He adds, I hope these efforts will not only enrich campus worship, but
also provide church communities with better equipped worship leaders as students graduate and
become part of churches.