In April 2011, I embarked on a series of articles on the UMC Worship Blog playing with the metaphor of "bearings." The series started with the nautical meaning of "taking bearings," and "staying on course," but soon moved in the direction of "mechanical bearings"-- small pieces of a system in motion that help transfer energy from one part moving in one way to another moving in another way.
I've since used this series in teaching in both seminary and continuing education settings on a number of occasions, and have also adapted it as part of the CD resources for the forthcoming "Worship Guideline, 2013-2016" from Cokesbury.
The one drawback I've noticed with the blog format is that it's difficult to move from piece to piece on the in the original posts to find just the article you (or I!) may want.
So here is a listing of the entire series with links to help you "take your bearings" across the whole series and find just the article or articles you want for your purposes.
Bearings in Worship: Series Map
(finding your way in worship planning)