Nothing is more essential than knowing how to worship the God who created us. So how is it that this incredibly important and all-encompassing part of Christian life has often been watered down to become the definition of the two slow songs sung at church on a typical Sunday morning? Obviously, there is so much more to worship as it applies to both life and music – particularly if you are part of a church worship team. Though chiefly directed towards those who serve in the ministry of music, anyone could benefit from Bob Kauflin’s wisdom in this book as he covers a variety of topics from the devastating effects of worshipping the wrong things, how to base our worship on God’s self-revelation rather than our assumptions, the fuel of worship, the community of worship, to the ways that eternity’s worship should affect our earthly worship.
At the time I bought this book I had just become a worship leader at my church and in an effort to better understand the role, I bought the first book off the shelf about worship that I could find. I did not need to look any further than this one. Bob Kauflin knows his stuff. With more than thirty years of experience in churches and working with music teams both as a musician and leader – not to mention being a songwriter himself – the author is more than qualified to write about what key factors make or break a true worshipper. His emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s power to move through us, having soft hearts open to His leading and the focus on how little worshipping has to do with us but with God Himself was deeply challenging and convicting. It gave me a greater awareness of how important the role of leading the church in worship is, from having sound doctrine to musical ability. Mr. Kauflin strikes the perfect balance between being a completely Spirit-led worshipper who is also honing the practicality of their musical craft.
Written primarily for those in a worship leading position, the book is divided into four parts: the leader, the task, healthy tensions, and right relationships. From the very beginning, the emphasis is on the state of the leader’s heart, and their relationship with God. It is at the forefront of everything we do, and true worship can only come out of an authentic relationship with the Lord. This is what the author tackles first, and rightly so. From there, Bob goes on to expound on the different aspects of the task by addressing each point in his accurate description of a worship leader:
A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skilfully combining God’s Word with music, thereby motivating the gathered church to proclaim the gospel, to cherish God’s presence and to live for God’s glory.
The book addresses the matter of having healthy tensions, i.e., a balance between issues that could cause divisions within church institutions. He helps you to find those fine lines that can be so tricky to negotiate between heavenly joy and respectful reverence, internal reflection and outward expression, planned vs spontaneous, traditional vs relevant. The author also promotes the importance of building good relationships with those on your team, and learning what differences should be overlooked, and what issues should be addressed in one another.
Though when I first began reading I was almost bogged down by subject matter’s depth, it was worth the time invested to finish it. The entire read is chock full of wisdom and insight that would do much to broaden a reader’s understanding of worship if they applied themselves to study this book. I have recommended it to several people, and I would name it a must-read for anyone interested in or currently serving in a music ministry. Yet for those who may not participate in a church setting, or music team of any kind, this book can still be read for the challenge of living a worshipful life – what does living a life of worship look like for you, and how can you improve?
Are you simply mouthing lyrics? Do you only pretend to be engaged, moving your hands and bowing your head at the right moments to look “worshipful”? Or are you seeking to be a transparent worshipper – naturally, genuinely, and obviously demonstrating a desire to exalt Jesus Christ? If we want the church to be inspired by our leadership, we have to begin with an authentic example.
Published on 29 October, 2014. Last updated on