Discerning Reader Editorial Review
Reviewed 07/04/2010 by Mark Tubbs.
Recommended. A helpful, balanced little handbook on planning and leading corporate charismatic worship.
David son of Jesse was a king, prophet, warrior, architect, and musician. He was also a handsome man - a fact mentioned more than once in scripture. But most importantly, as pastors have reminded us time and again, he was a man after God's own heart; a worshiper in spirit and truth. Truly, there is much to learn about worship from the accounts of David's life and ministry found in scripture.
In his little handbook on worship published by British worship publisher Kevin Mayhew in 2006, New Frontiers worship leader Greg Shepherd draws out modern-day applications of David's worship lifestyle and ministry in a variety of areas: character, passion, leadership and vision, as well as addressing nitty-gritty topics such as teambuilding, conflict resolution, songwriting, and congregational dynamics.
The strengths of the book are threefold:
- It is biblically accurate and relevant.
- It is clear and concise.
- It is much more concerned with the character of the musician than with talent.
Ten years ago I would have appreciated this book immensely. But ten years ago I did not possess much of a bibical theology of worship. That's not to say that Shepherd does not possess one, nor that there isn't one undergirding this book's content. It just isn't very apparent, and therefore can lead to the question of whether it is being assumed to an unhealthy degree.
It may be marginally unfair to compare older books - this one was written in 2006 - with newer books that do a better job, but I cannot help but recommend Bob Kauflin's magnificent 2008 Crossway Books release, Worship Matters, as the premier handbook on planning for and leading corporate worship, particularly in an Evangelical, charismatic setting.
While we're on the topic of recommending alternate books, for a biblical theology on Davidic worship forms and reforms, see the excellent Peter Leithart book From Silence to Song: the Davidic Liturgical Revolution. For a discussion on how to read scripture holistically, avoiding the pitfalls of "timeless texts" and "life lessons," see Michael Emlet's CrossTalk: Where Life and Scripture Meet.
In light of this concern, why then am I recommending the book? All in all, it is a helpful, balanced little handbook on corporate worship to put in the hands of a novice starting out on the journey of worship leadership. It may even prove useful for a veteran who needs to plug some holes in his or her planning and leading. And while Shepherd derives from New Frontiers, an apostolic, charismatic family of churches, the book treads lightly on the topic. It doesn't compromise, but it's innocent of the charge of charismania.
So by all means, go ahead and read this book. But supplement wisely with biblical and historical theology resources in order to understand worship in a more fully developed sense.
Editor's Note: In North America this book can be purchased directly from Kevin Mayhew's distributor.