Artists In Ministry & Missions

Month: November 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

Time to Refresh

Time To Refresh

As we enter this season of thankfullness, I want to introduce you to Paula Gamble Grant, an ACT International staff member and her ministry “Refresh”. Don’t forget as this year draws to an end to recreate and refresh your walk personally and with those you love and minister to.



byron tweet picGreat changes in worship began to accelerate during the 1960’s. As early as 1967, the now prominent Methodist Notre Dame liturgical scholar, James F. White, wrote The Worldliness of Worship, noting the beginning rumblings of change in worship coming to North American church worship. Then, in 1989, White released further observations in Protestant Worship: Traditions in Transition. Not a purely “theological” work, White’s volume noted the challenges congregants were beginning to level concerning “conventional” thinking related to the theology of worship.

That same year, theologian and megachurch pastor, Dr. John Piper, finished his important book on the Church and missions, Let the Nations Be Glad (1993), with the now famous statement, “missions exists because worship does not.” It should be noted that Piper had already published his well-known book, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986), which, though not normally thought of as a book on worship, presses the issue that delighting in God is the chief duty of the believer.

Then, in 2002, Piper published one of the best theological overviews of New Testament worship teaching in Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry. Also during this period the Southern Baptist publishing house, Broadman & Holman, released Henry Blackaby’s, Experiencing God: How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God.

Although these books investigate the breadth and need for a theology of worship, they still did not provide specific curricula for training local congregational worship leadership. Our examination of this history and its implications for today will unfold as this series continues.


Modern Worship Resources Part 1


byron tweet picIn North America, since about 1980, the Church has witnessed an amazing increase of interest in and publishing about the area of worship theology. The question, though, that faces North American church leaders today is whether or not there is adequate training specifically available for and accessible to local church leaders.

Most resources focused on worship have set a precedent for emphasizing worship as a central concern of God and, by extension, His people. For example, Robert Webber’s Worship is a Verb (1985) was one of the earlier “new” texts that dealt with the theology of worship, while emphasizing the biblical focus on worship as a way-of-life more than simply church service attendance.

Theologian David Peterson had a strong work on the basic theology of worship with his book, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship (1993). In that same year, Worship: Adoration and Action (1993), edited by well-known theologian D.A. Carson, set a precedent for the study and presentation of diverse worship theology in the evangelical church.


These works exemplified the reality that prominent theologians were seeing the Church’s growing interest in worship and therefore demonstrating a need for more theological accuracy in understanding the true meaning of worship. While they are each important to the general area of worship studies, they do not in themselves create a training curriculum for local church leadership. In the next few posts we’ll explore this history a bit further.




byron_sThere exist very few clear, practical, and biblically based training resources that easily guide worship leaders into the basic New Testament teachings on worship and its role in the life of believers. This is true even though the last 40 years has seen wonderful growth in the focus on worship.

What is needed is worship training and discipleship resources that will provide essential helps for worship leaders who want to know, understand, practice, and envision worship in a number of ways. The reasons for this are at least three-fold:

  1. Such training and resources will give basic guidance for worship-leader-practitioners who have little experience or orientation in guiding a church worship ministry and helping them move beyond “flying by the seat of their pants” to a basic blueprint for some of the major components of worship ministry management.
  2. More experienced worship leaders can use these types of training and resources to intentionally disciple less-experienced worship leaders who possess little insight into the myriad behind-the-scenes things that must take place to make a worship service actually happen.
  3. And all of this will help suggest pathways for pastors and other “non-artistic” church leaders to orient themselves and help orient others under their stewardship in some of the basic elements essential to worship ministry.

These types of resources and training initiatives will go far in emphasizing worship as a minute-by-minute way of life, which I believe the Bible emphasizes from beginning to end.

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