Day 9:16 pm

  • Book Review – Leading Worship Matters

    Augsburg Fortress has published a number of books

    under the “Worship Matters” banner.  Being both a book junkie and someone who is passionately interested in liturgy and worship, I just couldn’t resist getting these books.  I have found all of them helpful and easy to read and use, but there is one in particular that has proven very beneficial in the area of worship leadership.  Leading Worship Matters: A Sourcebook for Preparing Worship Leaders is written for the person training the worship leaders, but includes many helpful handouts and resources for those who will be taking on worship leadership roles.

    The book clearly ascribes to the belief that worship leadership is the responsibility of the entire assembly gathered for worship, referring to Principle 8 in The Use of the Means of Grace, a statement on the practice of word and sacrament, adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):  “All the baptized share responsibility for the proclamation of the Word and the formation of the Christian assembly.”  The introductory pages continue with theological, missional and practical reasons for including lay members as worship leaders.  What I appreciate, though, is that at no time do the writers take these roles lightly, but rather emphasize training and reflection.  As stated in the introduction,”Leading worship is not, of course, simply a matter of standing up and directing traffic; it is a ministry that requires prayer, thought, and practice” (p. 9). Another important point – there is no expectation that every congregation needs to follow an exact formula.  The content of the book is applicable to a broad range of contexts, leadership, and worship styles.  For example, in the chapter on Communion Ministers, there is acknowledgement that there are as many ways to distribute communion as there are assemblies, and the emphasis is placed on being gracious and graceful ministers, “caring for this meal as something both precious and familiar” (p. 125).  The tips In the “Tips for Communion Ministers”, include:  Serve with grace and purpose; Serve with joy; Worship while you serve; Know that you are serving Christ”  (p. 133).

    The various worship leaders roles covered in the book include: Assisting Ministers, Readers, Intercessors, Acolytes, (more…)

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