O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my body longs for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

~ Psalm 63:1

Even if you’ve never practiced, you probably know (at least a little) how to worship. Humans are natural worshippers, and take to it intuitively. The choice and the challenge everyone faces - perhaps the central challenge of every life - is who, or what to worship, and how to worship well. Our answer to that question is W.E.L.S. - Crow’s brand new Worship Leadership program.

Worship Engagement Leadership School (WELS) is intended to equip participants with all the tools and experience needed to become a worshipper. Once properly equipped, we can learn the critical next step: how to lead others into worship.


Worship doesn’t just happen at “Worship Time”; but most of what is labelled “Worship Time” is focused on music. That isn’t true just at camp, and it isn’t true just now, in 2019! Music, and singing, have always had a special role in glorifying God. Scripture is full of verses like Psalm 81:2: “Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp.” In WELS, we are going to put special emphasis on music, and musical training: oh, we’re gonna strum that sweet lyre.  The WELS program will make you a better musician, by enhancing the skills you already have. Our intention is that by the end of the program, you are musically able to handle any situation that may arise during a worship set.


We are modelling the structure of WELS on PIT and COLTS, by implementing a system of gradual integration. In essence, gradual integration means: first you watch, then you do, and finally you teach. This is also true of the practical theology of discipleship that underlies all our programs: we want you to learn how to walk as Jesus did (I John 2:6).


At Crow, we believe worship is a lifestyle, not merely the twenty minute musical interlude between announcements and the sermon. WELS investigates the meaning of true worship and what we can learn from the many different expressions of worship in scripture and in the experience of Christians from the time of Jesus until now. We will study what God has said about worship, and apply this to discovering what worship can look like in the contemporary world.


WELS’ mysterious founder & visionary leader: The Sami Valavaara:


Sami’s vocation, and his avocation, has always been music. Sami started playing guitar when he was 12, and now makes his living working that flat top box: gigging, teaching, and worship pastoring at Fernie Mountainside Church. Aside from music he enjoys frolfing (frisbee golf), biking, and generally being a nerd about space and animals. Sami enjoys burgers the way God intended them: with cheese and ketchup only. Sami set (and still holds!) the Fernie record 14/15 year-olds for 50m Butterfly in 2005.

"[H]ere's something else that's weird but true: in the day-to day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship.” ~ David Foster Wallace, This is Water

Apr 5, 2019 By David Graham