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Suggested Reading ...

As requested by a number of you, herewith a few books that I strongly recommend.

The Case for the Psalms:Why they are Essential - N.T.Wright

Journey to the Common Good - Walter Brueggemann

Gagging Jesus: Things Jesus said we wish he hadn't - Phil Moore

Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God - Bob Kauflin

The Writings of the New Testament : An Interpretation - Luke Timothy Johnson

These titles I have been able to source through Loot.co.za- happy reading!

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Home NEWS Updates from Grant Where is Worship Today?
Where is Worship Today? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Grant Nuss   
Friday, 13 January 2017 06:29

For those who are in the worship ministry this might be worth reading. I am spending time with a few worship-leaders I have mentored over the years electronically as they are as far-afield as Tanzania and we have all chosen to read Robert Webber’s book “The Divine Embrace” again. You can read an excerpt of that book by clicking the link below here. As our discussion, has progressed it has become clear that in churches today we are sold on playing the latest ‘Top 40’ covers irrespective of whether our congregations know the songs or not and tend to be “situated in the culture and not in the story of God” (Webber). Of course, when that happens, it “becomes focused on the self” and “becomes narcissistic” (Webber). Much of our worship “has shifted from a focus on God and God's story to a focus on me and my story” (Webber).

Our discussion has of course included re-looking at the role of the worship-leader and team. What is their role? To facilitate and lead the congregation they serve into a place of intimacy with Jesus. This means being able to step-aside and allow Him to minister, taking the focus of 'self', and placing it fully on Christ, and not trying to ‘sing over everything’.

We have chatted too about song choice. If our ministry involves leading people into worship (which it does) why do we persist in choosing songs which at least three-quarters of the audience do not know? The result is that folk spend the 30 minutes or so trying to read and follow what is often like ‘sermon notes’ on a screen thereby not being able to focus on Jesus which is the reason they are there. For most, they end up being so ever thankful that they got through it relatively ‘unscathed’ and literally breathe a sigh of relief.

So, here’s the question; Have you ever stood out in a congregation ready to sing your heart out to God and worship Him, and, find that it is rather difficult to do that? So why is it so difficult? Well, besides being faced with songs you have never heard, you encounter renditions that have been so re-modeled that it takes you getting to the chorus (perhaps) to get into the song.

We have discussed too that, secondly, most often it is me-oriented where it seems to be a talent show with members of the team seemingly trying to prove to the audience that they have the X Factor. This is obviously a result of the culturally driven contemporary worship band-wagon that most aspiring worship-leaders are trying to get onto.

As a worship-leader and mentor I toy with this reality so, again, we have chosen to read Robert Webber’s “The Divine Embrace” again an excerpt of which featured in Christianity Today in 2007 which, if you click on the link below here, you will find interesting reading.http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/aprilweb-only/118-13.0.html