“Worship Essentials” by Mike Harland is a refreshing look at what makes worship, worship. So many churches and people in today’s society argue, fight, and war over the music portion of the church’s service. Those who aren’t fighting are agonizing over how to have the “right” kind of worship experience. This books puts all that to rest, but not in the way you would expect.
Harland puts things in perspective. What does the Bible say worship is? How should we go about creating that kind of atmosphere? What is important? What should the focus be?
What I find so refreshing is that he brings everything back to the basics. Applying the Bible and history to the world of worship music really shows what the focus needs to be. Worship needs to lead the person into the truth of God’s word.
My favorite part was when he asked the reader to think of it like this:
If someone attended your church, but only came to the music portion of the corporate worship time and derived all of their belief system from the theological content of the songs, what would they believe? How much information about Jesus would they know? How about the Trinity? The doctrine of grace? What it means to trust in Christ or to walk in faith? Or would the music of your church only communicate to them what they should feel?
How true is that? Throughout this book, it becomes very apparent that all “parts” of the service need to be working in concert to bring the focus to Jesus. The book sets up values to be followed and down-to-earth things to consider. He even lays out dangers to look out for, things that often lead worship leaders down the wrong path.
Leaders aren’t the only ones who will benefit from this book. I can think of quite a few people who aren’t worship leaders that need to read this book. There’s a message here for the laypeople as well.
How many times do congregants make judgments about the worship based on how they feel? Or how many people are showing visible signs like raised hands or crying? Or what the style of the music is?
Although not lecturing, it is very easy to see that a lot of the “problem” with worship is how we are viewing it. Again, where’s the focus?
This book is very easy to read and is filled with valuable information that today’s churches need. I would recommend this book to leaders in the church as well as laypeople.
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Laura is a trusted reviewer fo B&H Publishing (Lifeway). In exchange for her unbiased reviews, she is supplied a hard copy for free.FOLLOW ME