Two books I’ve got to get hold of!

During this week I came across reviews of several new books which may be very useful for those of you in the role of music/worship leader at your church. If it has been a while since you’ve read an actual book on such topics, these two look worth the effort!

“…the gathering is unique not as an encounter with God (it is that, though God’s presence is a constantly available comfort and help to the Christian); rather it’s unique because it is an encounter with the people of God, filled with the Spirit of God, spurring one another along in the mission of God. Christ in me meets Christ in you.”

These words come from a new book Rhythms of Grace (2013), There is a good, detailed review at Chong’s worship, which I’ll share some of here. It certainly whets my appetite for more thinking about music ministry:

RHYTHMS OF GRACE: How The Church’s Worship Tells the Story of the Gospel by Mike Cosper

rhythms of grace“What I appreciated: I finished this book loving Jesus – our true worship leader – more, and inspired to press on in retelling the gospel story when we gather as a church. Reading the first four chapters of the book is biblical theology at its breathtaking best, imaginatively told and left me (numerous times) grateful for God’s redemptive plan throughout history. If that’s where the book ended, it would already have been a worthwhile read!

When tackling more contentious issues of musical style, sound, vision etc. Mike has a gracious tone coupled with a rapier wit that leaves you embarrassed to disagree with him, and appreciative of the wisdom he’s curated from many helpful thinkers. I particularly appreciated:

  • his great explanation of John 4:24′s worship in Spirit and in Truth”
  • his critique of the Temple Model of worship planning (leading people into the throne room of God in music)
  • his appeal for worship planning and leading to be seen as a pastoral task.
  • his appeal for repetition and using non-singing elements in gathered worship (e.g. prayers, creeds, readings)

Most churches lack any real theology for worship, and most church leaders don’t know why the church is gathering, and what the goal is. Mike gives a concise yet thorough primer, rooted in Scripture and history, to answer all this. He doesn’t answer every question in-depth, and you don’t get a stand-alone, one-sentence definition of worship. But after reading this book you’ll definitely understand worship from a more biblical, gospel-centred, historically-rooted and theologically grounded perspective.”  READ THE FULL ARTICLE
(or purchase here)

The second book is:

Doxology and Theology: How the Gospel Forms the Worship Leader by Matt Boswell and friends (2013)

dox-theol-book

Worship—whether you’re talking about singing (in the narrowest sense) or every thought, word and deed (in the broadest sense)—has long been a source of fascination/frustration for me. we need a better, more robust theology of worship. Matt Boswell and co. have done an impressive job on this one. Here’s a great example from Zac Hicks’ chapter, “The Worship Leader and the Trinity:”

Many in recent years have commented on the anemic state of much of evangelical worship in the twenty-first century. We are me-focused, a-theological, biblically illiterate, and entertainment-saturated, they say. Many of these critics offer a prescription for recovery, ranging from things as practical as a reform of liturgy or musical styles to things as philosophical as media ecology and aesthetics. I’m convinced, though, that many of these (important) observations find resolution when we begin to be more intentional as worshippers, worship planners, and worship leaders about allowing our worship to take the shape of our beloved Object.  (Learn more or buy it at: Amazon)
This review comes from Blogging Theologically

You may also enjoy:

Music Ministry Training Paper                      A shot in the arm for your church music team
guitarssfj

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