Worship Committee Book Study Ideas?

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Hello,

Our worship committee is looking at reading a book together to (re)orient our work. Do you have any suggestions? Has your worship committee ever done this? One suggestion was to look at "For the Beauty of the Church"...has anyone read that?  Would it be a good start?

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Hi Andrew,

Kudos for wanting to learn more about worship with your team. I'm not familiar with that book, but a few I can think of are: The Worship Architect, by Constance Cherry - I've just studied this book recently for a class and found it very helpful in thinking about planning worship. We've (Worship Ministries) been hosting Peer Learning Groups for worship leaders (planners, worship committees, etc.) the last few years. The books that groups are currently using are: The Next Worship, by Sandra Van Opstal - a great book to help you think about multicultural worship in your context. Also, The Accessible Gospel - a book that looks at making the worship accessible to all people, including those with abilities and disabilities. Last year worship groups studied the book, Stilling the Storm, by Kathy Smith - this book is great for a church that is going through transition and/or difficult times. 

If you'd like more information on the peer learning groups that we are supporting, email me at worship@crcna.org.

Community Builder

Andrew, 

I haven't read "For the Beauty"  have heard good things. I think it would be a great choice especially if you want to focus on the role of the arts in worship. 

Is there a particular theme/topic you are hoping to cover? 

Some other possibilities to consider (a beginning list):  

Diversity/Multiethnic worship: The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World, Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Pastoral Role of Worship Leaders: The Worship Pastor: A Call to Ministry for Worship Leaders and Teams, Zac M. Hicks 

Basics on Worship Theology and Practice: Essential Worship: A Handbook for Leaders, Greg Scheer

Worship that is inclusive of all abilities: Accessible Gospel, Inclusive Worship, Betty Grit and Barb Newman

Worship as Formation/Transformative: You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit  or Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation both by James Smith and What's Love Got to Do With It?: How the Heart of God Shapes Worship, Sam Hamstra

General worship theology and practice (includes study questions): Wise Church: Exploring Faith and Worship with Christians Around the World, Emily Brink and Paul Detterman

Worship and Difficult Times: Stilling the Storm: Worship and Congregational Leadership During Difficult Times, Kathleen Smith

I commend your worship committee for taking time to deepen their understanding and practice through a book study.  There are so many great books on worship that have been written in the last decade that there is something out there for any context.  I am sure others can add to this beginning list. 

Community Builder

I would recommend Marlea Gilbert "The Work of The People: What We Do in Worship and Why".  It explains the structure of worship in a clear way. I found it really broadened my understanding of the components of a worship service and renewed my vision for worship. It is easy to read with discussion questions at the end of each chapter as well as ideas for use by a worship committee or team.

Participant

Have you tried the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship online resources?  This isn't a book, but if you would like to study a particular topic that your worship committee would like to explore further, they may have some articles, etc.

Also, Greg Scheer has some books on worship "how-to" etc.  

Our Worship Planning Team worked through Nancy Beach's book An Hour on Sunday. We discussed one chapter per month and even brought ideas to our devotional/discussion time at worship team rehearsals. http://www.nancylbeach.com/books/ 

Participant

I have read and recommend "True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God" by Bob Kauflin. You can also buy a study guide to go with the book.  We haven't used this with our Worship Committee, but it is on my radar to study it together in the future. 

Thanks everyone,

   This is very helpful.  I'm looking into the books you mentioned.  I think delving into the resources of the Calvin Institute of Worship is a great reminder as well.  

   Feel free to keep adding to the discussion as I'm sure others will be interested in such a topic.

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