Pastors and Worship Leaders:
Now is the time to prepare for what is next!
We were all surprised by this pandemic and the Lord has helped us help our churches continue to worship in Spirit and Truth. What is next? Surely we cannot go back to “business as usual.” In recent months, changes have come at us from all directions at once. Now is the time to prepare for the changes ahead. It can be a season of informed change instead of confusion and fear. How can we prepare for things we cannot foresee? One answer shouts at us from deep within our spirits. Now it is time to do the necessary research to discover the truths that must underlie the choices we will make then. We must discover and renew the things that must not change. Where can we do this vital research? Online? In books? Podcasts? Online services others conduct? A close circle of friends who share this dilemma? All of these are worthwhile sources to be sure but there is a deeper resource, a higher authority, a cleaner fountain of truth–God’s Holy Word! If we are sure of what God wants as it is revealed in the Bible, we can evaluate the possible strategies and tactics that come our way. We need a higher standard than the plans of our peers.
It is toward this end that I offer my work to you. My writing on the subject of worship has always been a biblical not a cultural study. Toward the end of 2019 and in the open weeks of 2020 I felt led of the Lord to compile two collections of my biblical research and practical observations of contemporary worship, one for pastors and another for worship leaders. I offer these collections to you now at no charge. As I stated in the preface of my book, Worship that Pleases God, “The Scriptures are a treasure field and my job is to mark the places for all of us to dig.” I am confident God will speak to you from His Book and give you the plans He wants you to implement. I am dedicated to the vision God has given you!
Resources for Post-Pandemic Worship
In the Spirit of Isaiah’s powerful prophecy echoed by John the Baptist, I take the analogy of building a highway for the revelation of the Glory of the Lord in the desert places as the organizational structure of this collection. I cast the Lead Pastor in the role of the Construction Engineer. Here is the Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Road…
Section One: The Wrong Roads
- Who’s in Charge Here?
- The Calamity of Culturally Driven Worship
- The Watershed
Section Two: The Construction Engineer
- From Shepherd to C.E.O.
- Too Far Down the Mountain
Section Three: The Better Plans
- Finding the Book Again
- Jesus at the Center
- Six Keys to Worship Renewal
Section Four: Construction
- The Power and Glory of Culturally Expressed Worship
- From Glory to Glory: Leading Change in Public Worship
- Summation: Four Ways to Prepare the Highway of the Lord
Section Five: Road Maintenance
- Turning the Corner
- Heart Search
Conclusion: Open the Gates, Open the Book, Open the Altars
Thanks, and Recommended Reading
Index to Article Links
God has chosen music as the principle art of Public Worship. This means that the corporate worship of the church should be led by individuals who have a holy calling from God. Every calling from God demands particular skills from the one who is called. The Worship Leader must develop musical skill. The music of corporate worship is different from that of performance before men. The music of the worship of the People of God is vertical–focused heavenward to God while the music of testimony or exhortation is horizontal–focused earthward to the hearts of people. Using both of these kinds of songs requires musical skill and spiritual wisdom and, above all, a sensitivity to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, this office is called that of “The Chief Musician.” While this is an Old Testament title, the New Testament instructions on singing and making music indicate to me that God is calling New Testament worship to be just as skillfully and spiritually led as that under the Old Covenant. In this collection, I make this application in simple and direct terms. As Paul says, we must sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with all wisdom” as are “filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:19′ Col 3:16) Here is the Table of Contents:
Introduction: The Anointed Craft of Worship Leading
Prelude: Understanding Your Anointing
A Call to Unity
- The Hammers and the House
- Generation to Generation
- Rebellion without a Cause
- Come (Back) Together
A Call to True Spirituality
- What’s So Bad about Feeling Good?
- Jesus at the Center
- My Father’s Music
A Call to Discipleship
- I Pastor with Music
- Someone Sing the Base
- Torch and Trumpet
A Call to an Expanded Repertoire
- Fat-Free Worship
- The Power of the Classics in Modern Worship
- The Good, the Bad, and the Holy
A Call to Greater Craftsmanship
- Bringing Order out of Chaos
- The Flows of Worship
- Sing unto the Lord an Old Song
- The Instrumental Imperative
Postlude: When the Music Changes
To receive your FREE PDF copy of either or both of these books, send an email to DrStevePhifer.com.
You can be ready for What’s Next!
For a detailed biblical study of worship, consider Worship that Pleases God
For a comprehensive training course for your worship leadership team, consider More than Music