Rest for Worship Leaders’ Souls
By Nancy Franson

For those involved in leading worship, Sunday mornings are often anything but restful. Tim Nicholson, director of music at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, cited an example of one church musician who for years had been unable to sit in worship and participate in the Lord’s Supper with his family due to professional church responsibilities.

The Liturgy Collective Gathering is designed for those who regularly plan and lead worship to experience the joy of worship and rest. Throughout the gathering, participants will have the opportunity to worship together in a variety of musical and liturgical styles.

This year’s gathering, “Rest for Your Souls,” will be held at Covenant Presbyterian in Nashville from Oct. 13-15. Nicholson describes the Liturgy Collective Gathering as an event designed for musicians, pastors, and liturgists, but he encourages anyone involved in worship to attend. He also emphasizes that it can be meaningful for musicians and pastors to attend together. Of course, you don’t have to be church staff to attend, and anyone looking to deepen their understanding and appreciation of music and liturgy may appreciate the retreat-like nature of the gathering’s worship services, music, and content.

Of last year’s conference, Sean Sawyers, lead pastor of Sycamore Presbyterian Church in Midlothian, Virginia said, “Through the services and seminars, I was given a better understanding of the challenges my worship leader faces, and he was given a more robust vision of worship from across our denomination. Both our church and our relationship will be blessed because we attended the Liturgy Collective together.”

This year’s presenters include W. David O. Taylor, Ligon Duncan, Scott Sauls, Carl Ellis, Jr., Josh Garrels, Sandra McCracken, Trevor Laurence, Kevin Twit, Missy Wallace, Scotty Smith, Russ Ramsey, Greg Wilbur, Ashley Cleveland, Leslie Jordan, Chuck Colson, and Taylor Leonhardt. Additional presenters will be added to the Liturgy Collective website once they have been confirmed.

The conference is organized around three core values: rest, connection, and growth. Over the course of three nights, participants will consider such topics as what it might look like for worship services to picture Sabbath rest — and how to capture that essence within a 50–60-minute weekly service. Attendees will also engage with how the Book of Psalms might better be incorporated into worship.

According to Nicholson, the emphasis on connection is a vital element of the three-day event.

“We want to foster community among participants, reminding them they are not alone. They’re doing the same work, having the same conversations, even fighting some of the same battles,” said Nicholson.

We want to foster community among participants, reminding them they are not alone.

The aim of the Liturgy Gathering is to energize and build up participants and connect them with a community of like-minded people that can offer encouragement. Toward that end, in addition to workshops and panel sessions, attendees will also have opportunities throughout the weekend to share meals together. In order to foster a deeper sense of community and connection, attendance at this year’s conference will be capped at 300 participants.

The fee to attend The Liturgy Gathering is $325, which includes two meals and a Josh Garrels concert. An up-to-date list of speakers as well as registration information is available at

Scroll to Top