I wanted to begin with this book because I wanted to hear firsthand from an accomplished worship leader who led at T4G, because I wanted to give it away, and because I wanted to read this book about worship.
Worship Matters:Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God, by Bob Kauflin, is strong on the theological basis for worship, with plenty of practical instructions for worship leaders as well as insights into the importance of worship, in particular the aspect of singing our worship in church. Kauflin understands that worship is not merely singing, but it is a habit and attitude that should characterize all of one’s life.
He divides his book into four parts. In part one he examines the lead worshiper’s heart, mind, hands, and life, presenting a good foundation for what really matters in the life a worship leader. Part two is composed of several chapters that explain his definition of worship. Kauflin states, “A faithful worship leader magnifies the greatness of God in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit by skillfully 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.” This is a rich section.
Let me give you a couple quotes. “Magnifying God’s greatness begins with the proclamation of objective, biblical truths about God, but it ends with the expression of deep and holy affections toward God” (65). “One of the most important aspects of biblical worship we desperately need to recover today is a passionate, scripturally informed exaltation of Jesus Christ and his redemptive work” (78). This book is filled with rich, theological explanations of worship, not superficial, experience-oriented thoughts.
Part three addresses some of the healthy tensions in worship, including the tension between head knowledge and heart affection, and the tension between the vertical and horizontal aspects of worship. He handles these tensions ably and well. Part four concludes with the relationships that the worship leader has with his church, his worship team, and his pastor, with a closing chapter written for pastors.
I am glad to have read this book, and although I do not come from the type of expressive worship tradition that Kauflin writes from, I still would have no problem heartily recommending this book to any worship leader or pastor.
You can also check out a review at Discerning Reader.