In a public workshop Friday night, Mark Miller explored worship resources that revived and inspired attendees through plentiful songs and abundant advice. He talked about a “flattening of hierarchy," in which the people at the front of the church bring themselves down to the same physical level as the people in the pews. The idea is that rather than standing on a risen stage above the people in the pews, that a pastor or worship team would step down to the same level as a congregation – thereby challenging the idea that only one person or small group has authority, and showing that each person carries their own equally valid truth.

But, he said, this doesn’t mean that a leadership role should be absent. He stressed the importance of a flexible person who is constantly in tune with the timing and flow of worship to focus on the mood of the congregation and engage with them. He talked about ways of showing hospitality through worship, and that people need to feel a sense of belonging to be fully engaged. “There’s something about a welcome that says, ‘you are an individual person.’ Hospitality is about honoring people’s differences and the stranger among us, and realizing that they’re different from us,” he said.

He also said that it is important to recognize the healing role that music can play in worship, but first, the pain needs to be acknowledged. “When we come to worship, we’re there to give thanks, but also to recognize that we’re all broken and suffering,” he said. “We need to acknowledge brokenness and suffering before healing can take place. Music breaks us open; music has a way of accessing those places where we can say, ‘We’re vulnerable; heal me God.’”