Resources for Church Music Teams

One thing I’ve been asked through my years in ministry is what are some good resources for those who are feeling called to oversee or help out in a worship ministry? So here’s a list of the best resources I’ve found, I’ve ordered them in the order of significance I’ve found them to be:

Worship Matters by Bob Kauflin. I’ll read and recommend pretty much everything he’s done! This book gives a great theological base while tying it to the practical elements of what a worship leader is called to do.
True Worshippers by Bob Kauflin. This is a follow up to Worship Matters, and is aimed at the congregation. Helpful for a worship pastor to think through what he should expect of the congregation.
The Worship Pastor by Zac Hicks. Each chapter is a different area the worship pastor at least needs to be aware of and thinking through on a regular basis. If you’re interested, the list is: The worship pastor as…. Church lover, corporate mystic, doxological philosopher, disciple maker, prayer leader, theological dietician, war general, watchful prophet, missionary, artist chaplain, caregiver, mortician, emotional shepherd, liturgical architect, curator, tour guide, failure.
Christ Centered Worship by Bryan Chapell. Similarly to Rhythms of Grace (see below), Chapell takes it to the New Testament to present and how the various elements of church services through history have all attempted to be demonstrations of the gospel message.
Doxology & Theology edited by Matt Boswell. A number of worship pastors across the country contributed to this one, but it addresses how doxology and theology are two sides of the same coin. If our theology (study and understanding of God and who He is) does not affect and allow our doxology (praise of God) to become deeper and richer then it’s useless.
Rhythms of Grace by Mike Cosper. Cosper walks through the Bible and how the story of the Bible should shape our worship services.
Worship By the Book edited by D.A. Carson. This is an older one, but gives 3 ideas about how to structure a worship service, from high church to low church.
Desiring the Kingdom by James K.A. Smith. Smith is a philosopher at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, this is one of a three part series where he directs the cultural liturgies of our day and shows how those affect us, and also how we should be intentional with our worship liturgies because we are shaped and formed by that which we most love.
The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. This one should be read by every worship pastor! It’s a classic that talks about the need for both emotions and intellect in our worship (loving God with our heart, mind, soul and strength)
Gather God’s People by Brian Croft and Jason Adkins. I just read this one, it adheres pretty closely to the regulative principle (in a church service, we can only do that which is specifically described in Scripture), and I don’t agree with their idea of singing “Psalms,” (as in Ephesians 5:19, “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs), but they’ve got some great things to think about as far as what the Bible actually tells us about how we should corporately worship.
Reformation Worship by Jonathan Gibson and Mark Earngey. I just started this one after getting a recommendation from Mark Dever at T4G. It’s already given me some great nuggets anythings to think through and about. They take a look at some various church liturgies from 1523-1586, with some comments and updated translations. So this includes liturgies from Calvin, Knox, Luther, Cranmer and many others. I realize it’s a hefty book, and very expensive, but from my just starting it, it looks like it will be a really helpful resource.
Online Resources:
-Bob Kauflin blogs at Worship Matters regularly.
Doxology and Theology. This started as the book, it’s the worship branch of The Gospel Coalition. They also do a conference regularly.
Worthily Magnify. This is by a worship pastor name Jamie Brown. He’s at an Anglican Church, and I don’t agree with everything he writes, but it’s some good stuff to think about.
Worship Matters Video Intensive. I waited YEARS for him to do this! I’m currently taking my leaders at church through this, it’s Bob walking through his book in a video format, with discussion questions.
I’m always looking for new books or resources for us to use that are helpful for us to think biblically and theologically about how we craft our worship services, but this list will keep you busy for quite a few months, and give you many good ideas about how to better plan and structure our corporate worship services.
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