I love resources that help me worship God more faithfully. And I love resources that help me lead others to worship Him faithfully. The following are resources that released in 2015 that I found to be meaningful and helpful. I recommend them whole-heartedly to anyone who leads worship, but no less to any non-worship leader who wants a greater understanding of what it means to worship God in spirit and truth.
(6) “Experiencing the Trinity” by Joe Thorn
Broken up into three sections, Experiencing The Trinity offers daily devotionals to help readers think deeply about the unique roles and works of each member of the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thorn’s introduction, which states the purpose of the book, is a mixture of vulnerable autobiography and pastoral concern. In the opening paragraph he says, “What I have written here, I have primarily written for and to myself. I needed to hear these words during a desperate period of my life, and though that particular time of affliction has passed, I continue to need them today. I hope that these reflections on the grace of our triune God will encourage those who find themselves battling fear, anxiety, temptation, affliction, and doubt. I am there with you, but more importantly, so is the Lord.” Get your hands on this book. It will kindle the fires of worship in your soul. You can purchase it on Amazon or Crossway’s online store.
(5) WorshipGod 2015 Plenary Sessions
In the past, I’ve had the privilege of attending Sovereign Grace Music’s WorshipGod conference in Louisville, KY. And although I was unable to attend this year’s conference, I was nonetheless grateful for the opportunity to be edified and challenged by the conference’s plenary sessions, which featured teaching from C.J. Mahaney, Ray Ortlund, H.B. Charles, and more. This year, the conference’s focus was on the triunity of God and its implications for leading worship. You can find conference sessions and highlights at Bob Kauflin’s blog Worship Matters.
(4) Zondervan NIV Study Bible
Although I mostly use Crossway’s English Standard Version for Bible intake, I was quite impressed by Zondervan’s newest Study Bible. Some of today’s best and brightest minds in the field of biblical theology have come together to make a top-notch Bible study resource replete with excellent study tools such as articles, maps, textual surveys, chronologies, and much more. Contributors include D.A. Carson (editor), Timothy Keller, Kevin DeYoung, Sam Storms, Douglas Moo, and many others. I would recommend this resource to anyone who is serious about acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Bible. However, worship leaders may benefit especially from the use of this resource. You can purchase it on Amazon or on Zondervan’s website.
(3) “Gather God’s People” by Brian Croft and Jason Adkins
I wish I had a book like this when I first started leading worship vocationally. As part of a series geared towards pastors, this book offers comprehensive guidance for worship leaders who want to shepherd the flock of God through music and liturgy. It presents gathered worship in a way that accessible in theological, pastoral, and practical terms. So whether you’re a seasoned worship leader, an aspiring worship leader, or a church member who wants a deeper knowledge of the function and practice of congregational worship, this book is incredibly helpful. It’s one I’ve come back to multiple times to gain clarity and stimulate thought. Purchase the book on Amazon.
(2) “This Glorious Grace” by Austin Stone Worship
To me, few worship records have been as powerful as this one. It’s an album you can worship along with from start to finish. Not only that, but it includes multiple songs that I wouldn’t mind introducing to my own congregation. My favorites are Center My Life, Jesus True And Only, and You Are God And You Are Good. From its biblically insightful lyrics to its melodic accessibility and top-notch production, this record is a must-have for any worship leader’s music library. You can purchase it on iTunes. I’d also recommend visiting Austin Stone Worship’s website for resources related to the record, such as song theology, chord charts, videos and more.
(1) “True Worshipers” by Bob Kauflin
This book came out a just few months ago and I’ve already used it for a book study I did with a some guys from my worship team. As a follow-up to his book for worship leaders (Worship Matters), Bob Kauflin has taken to helping those in our congregations worship God faithfully. Paragraphs like this one are on point: “Jesus is God’s ultimate statement that he will provide a way for us to worship him—not only in this life but for all eternity. Where our offerings are tainted with self-reliance and self-exaltation, Jesus empties himself to bring glory to the Father on our behalf. Jesus’s perfect life, substitutionary death on the cross, physical resurrection, and glorious ascension assure once and for all that those who trust in him can be numbered among the worshipers of God.” Needless to say, I am thankful for Kauflin’s work in True Worshipers and I’ll be happily recommending it to people in my own church to help them relate all of life to what happens on Sundays. You can purchase the book on Amazon or at Crossway’s online store.