The Making of a Worship Leader

makingofaworship leaderJim Altizer
Sound & Light Publishing

The role of a Worship Leader involves so much more than singing a few songs on Sunday morning. Dr. Jim Altizer, a professor of Worship Leadership at Azusa Pacific University, offers thought-provoking and valuable insights into topics such as a philosophy of corporate worship, becoming a worship leader, understanding symbolic action, and understanding sacred time. The 19 appendices include information about microphones, vocalist tryouts, website resources, and much more. This should be required reading for all worship leaders.

Jeff Friend

The Case for the Psalms

nt-wrightN.T. Wright
HarperOne

Most people simply can’t imagine what it might be like to live in God’s world, in his time, in his space, and in his matter. This book is aimed at helping God’s people to imagine God’s larger, richer world as they pray the Psalms.

N.T. Wright joins the flurry of publications in the last year that have placed the Book of Psalms at the center of Scripture and faith. If we weren’t already convinced, Wright presents a persuasive argument that the Psalms are as his title indicates, “essential,” and beyond that, “the steady sustained subcurrent of healthy Christian Living.” But this is not a legalistic, required-reading scenario, rather an evocative invitation “to pray and live the psalms.”

As he has in recent works, Wright connects God’s rescue of us, our lives, and the earth we live in, and our role in the grand narrative. He and the Psalms won’t let us off the hook. And for those who have relegated the Psalms to a disconnected Old Testament discipline or liturgy, Wright makes it clear that emulating Jesus and New Testament Christians means immersion in the Psalms that formed them and their worldview, which crosses Testaments and stands at the intersection of all time. It also means active engagement in God’s rescue plan of our lives and the lives of those around us, as well as the earth, and the socio/cultural world we live in.

Wright wears his gifts as pastor, preacher and teacher well in this book, but also walks beside us as a fellow pilgrim ascending the hill of the Lord.

– Andrea Hunter

 

The Blessing Life: A Journey to Unexpected Joy

1-blessing lifeGerrit Dawson
IVP

Blessing is a word that gets tossed around a lot; Gerrit Dawson, through both personal stories and scriptural insights, clears up any confusion about its intrinsic meaning. He invites you into a life of receiving God’s blessing, returning blessing to God, and reflecting blessing to others. An additional Guide to The Blessing Life: 40 Days of Scripture and Prayer is the perfect accompaniment to integrate the book’s principles and promise into living reality.

Andrea Hunter

 

The Jesus Prayer

jesus prayerJohn Michael Talbot
IVP
Worship leader Pick

Far more than a call to revisit the early Christian “Jesus Prayer,” this is a reader’s digest of the history, theology, and doctrinal development of the Church. It also includes personal history from seminal worship artist John Michael Talbot, providing a meaningful bridge between Catholics, Orthodox, and evangelicals (as well as a reach to those of other faiths). A valuable resource for worship writers with its rich and engaging focus on Jesus.

Andrea Hunter

 

You’ll Get Through This

lukadoMax Lucado
Thomas Nelson

Every Christian experiences turbulent times in his or her life. Whether it is money problems, loss of employment, broken relationships, health issues or any other difficult trial, hard times are common to everyone. Max Lucado uses the biblical story of Joseph as a backdrop for his encouraging thoughts that demonstrate how God transforms painful, evil situations into victorious results.

Lucado provides numerous real-life stories and biblical accounts to reinforce his premise that even the darkest times can turn around when God enters the scene. His comforting, friendly style exudes genuine compassion as he reassures his readers that with God’s help they will get through their trial, although it will not be painless and the outcome may not be quick. 

Church leaders will find You’ll Get Through This to be a valuable resource to recommend to people needing uplifting words to face life’s tough challenges. It would also be perfect for small group discussions.

Jeff Friend