Lan Wilson, GNJ's new Director of Worship, is pictured above playing keys and singing at a Special Session of Annual Conference for GNJ on March 16. Photo by Josh Kinney

Breaking Through with Lan Wilson

April 3, 2019 | | News

NEPTUNE – A true southern gentlemen from Kentucky, Landon (Lan) Wilson believes it is time for revival in GNJ. As the new Director of Worship, he is just the person to take the lead.

Wilson, who has been in ministry since he was 10-years-old, leading worship in a diversity of denominations, most recently served as the worship pastor at Cross Point UMC in Harrisburg, PA; a multi-cultural, multi-site, multi-generational congregation.

He felt called to share his ministry gifts with United Methodists in GNJ after months of discernment and prayer for clarity in his ministry. Wilson felt restless and decided to pray boldly and expectantly; coming before God with confidence.

“After almost 25 years in ministry, I realized that I am called to also coach and mentor in the areas that God has gifted me. I am called to pour into people and help local churches,” said Wilson. “God opened that door and the next circle I drew was GNJ.”

Licensed in the Baptist and Pentecostal denominations, Wilson brings a variety of experience and perspectives with him to his new role. At GNJ , Wilson looks forward to enriching worship in local churches by utilizing and introducing the Breakthrough worship resources.

Breakthrough is a resource designed by GNJ leaders to provide easy-to-use best practices so that congregations can re-tune their worship, spend less time preparing the details and focus on what really matters – preaching the gospel to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. Breakthrough includes five worship series which include everything from sermon notes, graphics and videos, small group curriculum, song selections and more. Resources for Breakthrough can be found on GNJ’s website.

Wilson thinks Breakthrough has something for everyone. He shares, “So often churches become limited by their traditions in a way that rituals become idols.” He wants to help churches answer the question, “How do we make worship, hospitality and small groups more impactful to reach the world for Christ?”

Wilson encourages churches to consider what methods leaders are using to communicate and deliver the word of God. “Are we reaching the lost? Do we have an outward mindset that grows the body that is already there?” He continues, “When our rituals and traditions weigh us down, we don’t leave room to think about and reach out to those who are not here.”

He suggests that developing strategies for growth and movement will unlock church doors. With open doors and outward reach, churches make room for the Spirit to move and do something new. Following a worship series like the examples in Breakthrough, he says, builds expectation and consistency for parishioners. All church sizes and styles can adapt it to their context and develop more meaningful worship, strengthen a spirit of radical hospitality and emphasize giving as an act of worship.

During his first three months, Wilson is visiting local churches and meeting with pastors. He wants to experience and participate in the diversity of worship. He will be joining the Southern Region leadership team.

“It’s time for revival, a rekindling of the fire in GNJ,” Wilson says. “It’s time for tapping back into the move of God through worship with an expectation that God will do what only God can do.”

Resources are available here.