Book Author: Bob Kauflin
Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2008
From looking at the title and subtitle of this book, I knew I would learn a lot about our great God and how to worship Him, but little did I realize how much more I would learn in other areas of my life. In fact, at one point as I was reading it, tears came to my eyes over the depth of practical insight and my own failings in certain areas.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by how powerfully this book would affect me when I opened the first few pages and saw all the well-known and well respected pastors, theologians, and worship leaders who had written recommendations of it: Ligon Duncan, Mark Dever, R. Albert Mohler, Jr., John Frame, Matt Redman, D. A. Carson, Randy Alcorn, Bruce Ware, C. J. Mahaney, Stuart Townend, Harold M. Best, Wayne Grudem, David Peterson, and Joshua Harris.
Here’s an example of just one of those reviews by Mark Dever, pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington D.C.
Humility. Self-deprecating humor. Practical wisdom. And not just for music leaders. What a refreshing read! I’ve gained a lot from Bob Kauflin, and if you read this, you will too. Clearly structured, well-illustrated, engagingly written, biblically saturated, theologically careful, this book gives us a rich treatise on how we can follow Christ ourselves and call others to do the same. This book helps musicians, pastors, elders, and other Christians understand better what we’re called to do when we’re together.
The author of this superb 259 page book is veteran music leader, Bob Kauflin. Bob serves as the Director of Sovereign Grace Music. After receiving a piano performance degree from Temple University in 1976, Bob traveled for eight years with the contemporary Christian group GLAD as a songwriter, speaker, and arranger. He continued to write and arrange for the group until 2010, and was a major contributor to the A Capella Project (1988). In 1984, he left GLAD to pursue active involvement in a local church associated with Sovereign Grace Churches.
In the early 90s, he helped to plant what is now CrossWay Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was featured on the Integrity’s Hosanna! CD, Chosen Treasure.
In 1997, after 12 years of pastoring, Bob moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland, where he led corporate worship at Covenant Life Church and became the Director of Sovereign Grace Music. He’s written two books: Worship Matters and True Worshipers (published 2015 by Crossway). Through conferences, seminars, and his blog, Worship Matters, he seeks to equip pastors, musicians, and songwriters in the theology and practice of congregational worship. He also oversees the production of Sovereign Grace Music albums. He currently has the joy of being a pastor at Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville Kentucky.
I especially appreciated Part Three of the book on Healthy Tensions in worship. It includes insightful chapters on Transcendent and Immanent, Head and Heart, Internal and External, Vertical and Horizontal, Planned and Spontaneous, Rooted and Relevant, Skilled and Authentic, For the Church and for Unbelievers, as well as Event and Every Day.
There is so much more I could say about this practical and theological book, but I will end with a quote from the first chapter:
Worship matters. It matters to God because he is the one ultimately worthy of all worship. It matters to us because worshipping God is the reason for which we are created. And it matters to every worship leader, because we have no greater privilege than leading others to encounter the greatness of God.
Is this a book to give to your worship leader? Yes! To worship team members and church musicians in your church? Yes! To your pastor? Yes! In fact, I would recommend that you give it to any serious worshiper of our holy God.