Here are some book recommendations to help you, and perhaps your church, think through congregational worship and the accompanying issues.
Gordon MacDonald’s Who Stole My Church? Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007
Recommended by Ken Pyne
My church’s music committee studied this book.
Though written as a fictional story about a church working through “worship wars,” it provides an excellent format for discussing church worship tensions and can help young and old understand the different perspectives we have as we approach corporate worship.
Bob Kauflin’s Worship Matters. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008.
This is a must read for any worship committee or music group in a church.
In chapter 2, Bob addresses the greatest challenge worship leaders face their churches. As he says, it is not the exterior “worship wars” issues like music styles, song selections, drums, etc. It’s the interior worship war inside each of our hearts. “Each of us has a battle raging within us over what we love most—God or something else” (p. 21).
Once we get the interior “worship war” settled (if it ever can be), then many of the exterior wars will not be as significant, or at least will be handled in a spiritually mature way.
Constance M. Cherry’s The Worship Architect. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010.
Recommend by Scott Greening
Constance Cherry uses the analogy of architecture and buildings to work through how to craft corporate worship services. She proposes a Biblical foundation and four load-bearing walls (the gathering, the Word, the table of the Lord and/or the alternative response to the Word, and the sending).
This book must be read with a discerning mind, but there is much to commend. Cherry forces us to reexamine our Regular Baptist “liturgy.” However, she does not just destruct common bad habits but provides helpful worship elements that can be added to services. Many of these suggestions focus on using more Scripture and prayer in services, which we would all agree is a good thing.
My church plant is using this book to help us thinking through what we want to include in our corporate worship culture. This book has been helpful in stretching our worship evaluation and planning team to consider other worship expressions we are not as familiar with.