Selecting Worship Songs: A Guide for Leaders

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9781931283427: Selecting Worship Songs: A Guide for Leaders

This brief book is written to assist worship leaders in choosing worthy and appropriate worship songs. Leaders have more worship song choices than ever before. Question is: On what basis will these decisions be made? A rubric has been designed whereby leaders can evaluate any type of congregational songs from any style for its theological, lyrical, and musical value. The process can be used by different kinds of worship leaders, accommodating variables of Christian theology, taste, experience, education, and so forth. Leaders may assign numeric values to various features of any worship song in categories related to theology, words, and music. The authors hope worship leaders will (1) deepen their thoughtfulness in choosing congregational songs, and (2) have a greater assurance of accountability before God and others regarding what is voiced corporately in services of worship for which they have responsibility. Finally, the authors desire to help equip those who choose congregational songs with practical criteria and a workable, negotiable instrument.

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About the Author:

Dr. Constance Cherry is Professor of Worship at Indiana Wesleyan University (Marion, Indiana), where she directs the major in Christian worship. She is also on the faculty of the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies. Dr. Cherry has served local churches as director of worship and music, and as pastor. She is a published composer, author, and hymn writer, with hymns in seven major hymnals. Dr. Mary M. Brown is Professor of English at Indiana Wesleyan University and chair of the Division of Modern Language and Literature. She teaches literature and creative writing. She publishes poetry and creative non-fiction and is a co-editor of The Steinbeck Review. Dr. Christopher T. Bounds is Professor of Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is an Ordained Elder in The Arkansas Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he pastored churches for eight years before coming to Indiana Wesleyan in 2002.

Review:

Appropriate music selection in the local church setting is essential for God's people to truly worship in spirit and in truth. The collective efforts of a theologian, a writer, and a musician have resulted in a practical rubric by which congregational music can be measured to determine the appropriateness for any song's inclusion in our planning. Selecting Worship Songs will challenge the worship planner to go beyond keys, tempo and familiarity in assessing a hymn or song. I whole-heartedly recommend this resource to the worship planner who seeks to make worship biblical, vital and, yes. . .relevant! --Lloyd Larson, Composer (Maple Grove, Minnesota)

In this slim volume, the authors combine their significant theological, musical, and pastoral skills to provide a very practical guide for making sense out of a song, and figuring out whether and how it can serve your worshiping community. You won't always agree with their assessment of particular features of particular songs. Then again, reading their book, you can almost hear the give and take in the conversation among them - and that's the point. --Dr. Reggie Kidd, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

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